calliope_love: (Break/Liam: Early!Rainsworth)
Callie ([personal profile] calliope_love) wrote2011-03-30 02:06 am

25: Callie's back, bitches~

Title: A Change in the Weather
Rating: All the fluff. All of it.
Disclaimer: Still not mine.
Summary: According to the new PH novel, the Rainsworth family has a special trick to help treat a cold. Set in the early days at Rainsworth. Forgive me my rustiness; I haven't written properly in months!
Length: 1,363

It was not a very good working day.

Spring, naturally, was the culprit. Shelly had asked that her desk be moved next to the window back when her office had been set up for her, and in general, she found this to be immensely beneficial. The placement meant she could feel the sunshine on her hands and look out over the Rainsworth grounds even if she were not well enough to go out, and keep one eye on her daughter if Sharon should happen to be playing nearby. It was a comfort far more than it was a distraction, and Shelly spent many a productive day at that desk.

Today, though, it seemed the long, bitter winter had finally broken for good. A robin had surprised her on the sill just as she’d walked into the room, and when she had approached the window to gaze outside — smiling like she had as a girl — she had seen that the snow was finally starting to melt off. Hints of grass were appearing around the garden pathways, and the bushes looked as though they would leap into their new leaves as soon as they were sure the sun would stay. The energy of it was contagious, and Shelly found her gaze drawn outside again and again; she accomplished very little as the morning wore on.

It was a welcome distraction when her daughter entered the room, but her relief was quickly replaced by concern as Sharon announced, “Mother, Brother Xerk is sick today.”

“Sick?” A small frown found its way to her face. Mister Break’s health had been improving so rapidly of late — surely this wasn’t related to his eye? The doctors had said there was no sign of infection for some time, and the bandages could possibly come off soon!

“He has a fever,” Sharon was saying, holding her small hands behind her back in an effort to keep from wringing them. “And a runny nose. He says it’s just a cold, but...”

Ah. It did sound like a cold; nothing much to worry about, then. All the same.

“We shall have to pay him a visit, I believe,” Shelly announced, rising from her desk. “When a member of one’s household is ill, it is only right to see them, and give them good wishes.” Sharon reached eagerly for her hand, and Shelly squeezed it gently, reassuring.

They did not quite hurry to Mister Break’s room. Once they reached the door, however, Shelly had to stifle a laugh; Liam was quite audibly lecturing Break about the importance of drinking enough fluids when ill, and as she entered, she was treated to the sight of Break glaring over his coverlet at the boy, who had stationed himself at the foot of Break’s bed and was glaring right back.

The floor was littered with Break’s spare pillows. Apparently he’d been hurling them at Liam.

He was obviously not that sick.

Thus reassured, Shelly approached his bed, smiling widely enough that she felt the need to hide the worst of it behind one hand. Stooping to retrieve one of the pillows, she said, “Good day, Mister Break. Have your pillows somehow offended you, that you would reject them so forcefully?”

“Ah, milady.” Noticing her suddenly, the young man shifted a bit under his covers, and sniffed. “I — ah.”

“He threw them at me,” Liam noted, peering at Shelly from around the bedpost he was clinging to. Shoving his glasses back into place, he added, “It was completely unwarranted.”

“It was not,” Break muttered.

“It was too,” Liam told him.

“I don’t want to eat an orange.”

“You’ll get better quicker if you eat oranges!”

“I don’t like oranges! They’re not even in season right now, so they’re worse!

“I had heard that Mister Break was ill today,” Shelly cut in smoothly, mouth twitching as she placed his pillow back on his bed for him. “It would seem, however, that he is not so ill as to require an orange.”

“So it is just a cold?” Sharon asked, standing up on her toes to look at him. “It’s not one of the bad fevers people get?”

“I told you it was just a cold,” Break grumbled, looking away. Then he sniffed again.

“Now that we know that for sure, it would probably be best to leave, and allow him to rest,” Shelly said, watching as the young man relaxed visibly.

“Mother, the charm!” Sharon protested, tugging at Shelly’s skirt.

“Ah! Of course! We mustn’t forget that.”

Break was eyeing the girl suspiciously. Shelly gathered up another pillow as her daughter dashed to the other side of the bed and clambered up onto it, and once Sharon was in place, Shelly came closer herself. Then, in unison, the two Rainsworth women leaned down — with one on either side, there was no way for Break to escape — and bumped their heads gently against his.

“There. Now you shall recover even faster,” Shelly told him warmly.

Break was staring at her as though the head she’d just bumped him with was a second one she had grown since walking into his room. Chuckling, the lady gave him the other pillow and turned to go.

“It’s Rainsworth magic,” Sharon told him, patting his hair before she climbed back down. “It’s been handed down for many generations.”

“Should I headbump him, too?” Liam asked dubiously.

“Headbump me and you headbump the floor next,” said Break.

“Come along, dears,” Shelly called, pretending she hadn’t heard him, though she did shoot him a knowing look. The young man caught it, of course, and burrowed a bit more under his covers in an attempt to look pathetic. Sharon came along cheerfully enough now that she had been reassured of her new brother’s health, but Liam lingered behind after the other two were out the door.

“You’re sure you don’t need me to bring you anything?” the boy asked, in a tone that said he wouldn’t believe it for an instant if Break said no.

“If you stay in here I will sneeze on you on purpose,” Break announced, waspy tone returning now that Shelly was out of sight. Liam emerged from the room a moment later to find Sharon clinging happily to her mother and the lady herself doing her level best not to giggle.

“I think he really is getting more sociable,” he confided to Shelly, shutting the door behind him.

“It would seem so,” the lady replied. Then she sighed a bit. The adventure of the morning was over, and if she were to be properly dutiful, it was time to set the children loose and return to her desk.

The thought was immensely unappealing.

“Shall we visit the kitchens?” Shelly asked before she could think better of it. “Perhaps, if we do have a few oranges, we can persuade the cook to candy them. Mister Break seems quite intrigued by sugar these days.”

“...I’m not sure candied oranges would have the same health benefits,” Liam muttered.

“It’s worth a try, at least. Perhaps he can learn to like oranges this way.”

Liam accepted this — Shelly had known he would; the boy had a sweet tooth of his own that he liked to hide — and the three of them started off down the hallway, Sharon chattering at Liam and Lady Shelly trailing along behind. All of the windows in the corridor had the curtains wide open, and the light streaming in was a welcome warmth.

Mister Break would be back to normal in a few days. Perhaps within the week Shelly would be seeing him, and the children, out in the gardens as she sat at her desk. She’d avoid today’s work as long as she could, most likely; but the prospect was definitely something to look forward to.

In the meantime, perhaps this afternoon she could bring some tea to Mister Break. It would help the sore throat he was sure to have, and she could have a chat with him about sneezing on people.

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