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Sarah and Andrew: In the Kitchen


The smile that Andrew offered Miss O’Brien was the first genuine smile he could remember giving in what seemed like a lifetime, and though it felt strange to smile after so long he found himself relieved he could still do it.

"I sometimes steal away into the trees on my half day," he muttered, absently pressing her hand in his. “An’ I wouldn’t say no to sharing my smoke breaks with someone."

Andrew knew his fairer companion smoked, but had never really seen her at it. The concept intrigued him, though he couldn’t say why.

Sarah finally slipped her hand free from his. She enjoyed the contact but it occurred to her as she heard footsteps shuffling above them that she may well be enjoying it a tad too much. It wouldn’t do to become too attached to a man after all, even one as amiable as Mr Lang. Men were temporary or trouble her mama had always said, and though Sarah didn’t like to think what that meant about her much-loved father she had always believed the words.


She couldn’t be cruel to him. Usually the admonishments and dismissals came to her lips so easily – too easily – but she couldn’t think of a single thing to say that might deter him and in her heart of hearts she knew it was because she didn’t want to deter him.

“Would you like to join me tomorrow morning then? I know that they’re both out, Lord and Lady Grantham, and I’ve got no mending to do that can’t wait.”

She curled her fingers together to stop herself taking his hand again.

“We could go to the village. Or the trees if you’d prefer?”

(OOC: Sorry about the wait! Perhaps we should end this little thread and start a new, fresh one that involved a walk to the village and possibly some tree-based shenanigans?) 

(Source: sarah-obrien)

Some numbers for you Miss O'Brien...11. 16. 62. 84? :-) jimmy-not-james-kent-deactivate

Thank you Jimmy…It’s nice to know that SOME people don’t hold grudges. 

11. Are you a social or an antisocial person?

I think anyone who asked that of me is clearly a blind, deaf person. Although I have been known to enjoy the odd night down the pub when I can get there without Mrs Hughes rolling her eyes into the back of her head as though she’s never set foot in such an establishment.

16. Are you going out of town soon?

I’ve just returned in fact. Scotland is such a lovely place really although the people do make you wonder about how much bother it would save by rebuilding Hadrian’s Wall.

62. Is there something that happened in your past that you hate talking about?

Yes. I don’t like to talk about it.

84. If the person you wish to be with were with you, what would you be doing right now?

My brother is the only person I ever miss. I’ve got four others and a sister but I can happily do without them so it’s him I miss most. If he was around now he’d probably have me skivvying around after him – he always did when he was a lad but he was never lazy – but I never minded with him. He was an apprentice to an engineer before he died so perhaps he’d have me doing his accounts – he never was much good with money when left alone. 

Where oh whereeeee is my lady?

Mr. Andrew Langs writes to apologize for his tardiness on the RPs. mrandrewlang

Mr Andrew Lang will have to bloody well wait his turn!

Of course Miss O’Brien only has two friends so it shouldn’t take too long!

43 Miss O'Brien. And its a pleasure to see you returned :) the-lost-daughter

Has anyone told you they don’t want to ever lose you?

Your mother said something of the sort once m’lady and I flatter myself that she meant it. At the time she was quite sick and half-delirious but its the thought that counts I suppose…

How terribly dreadful. I almost feel sorry for you. (Almost. Don’t go killing any babies now. ;) ) 

You mind you manners lad. I still haven’t forgiven you for not getting me a going away present. #wouldacigarettehavekilledyou

O’Brien’s Indian Diary

2nd July, 1921.

Too hot. Came home. Stupid woman’s hair poofed up in the humidity too much for even my considerable talents. 

If anyone fancies giving me some 'In Character' challenges to get my teeth into...

  • 1. Think of the last person who said I love you, do you think they meant it?
  • 2. Would you date an 18-year-old at the age you are now?
  • 3. When’s the last time you were aggravated and happy at the same time?
  • 4. Would you ever smile at a stranger?
  • 5. Is there someone mad because you’re dating/talking to the person you are?
  • 6. Have you heard a song that reminds you of someone today?
  • 7. What exactly are you wearing right now?
  • 8. How often do you listen to music?
  • 9. Do you wear jeans or sweats more?
  • 10. Do you think your life will change dramatically before 2015?
  • 11. Are you a social or an antisocial person?
  • 12. Have you ever kissed someone whose name begins with the letter ‘A’?
  • 13. What about ‘R’?
  • 14. Can you drive a stick shift?
  • 15. Do you care if people talk badly about you?
  • 16. Are you going out of town soon?
  • 17. When was the last time you cried?
  • 18. Have you ever told someone you loved them?
  • 19. If you could change your eye color, would you?
  • 20. Is there a boy who you would do absolutely everything for?
  • 21. Name something you dislike about the day you’re having.
  • 22. Is it cute when guys kiss you on your forehead?
  • 23. Are you dating the last person you talked to?
  • 24. What are you sitting on right now?
  • 25. Does anyone regularly (other than family) tell you they love you?
  • 26. Have you ever wanted someone you couldn’t have?
  • 27. Who was the last person you talked to before you went to bed last night?
  • 28. Do you get a lot of colds?
  • 29. Where is the shirt you are wearing from?
  • 30. Does anyone hate you?
  • 31. Do you have any empty alcohol bottles hidden somewhere in your room?
  • 32. Do you like watching scary movies?
  • 33. Do you want your tongue pierced?
  • 34. If you had to delete one year of your life completely, which would it be?
  • 35. Did you have a dream last night?
  • 36. When was the last time you told someone you loved them?
  • 37. Do you think you’ll be married in 5 years?
  • 38. Do you think someone has feelings for you?
  • 39. Do you think someone is thinking about you right now?
  • 40. Did you have a good day yesterday?
  • 41. Think back 2 months ago; were you in a relationship?
  • 42. In the next 48 hours, will you hang out with a girl?
  • 43. Has anyone told you they don’t want to ever lose you?
  • 44. What’s the best part about school?
  • 45. Do you have any pictures on your Facebook?
  • 46. Do you ever pass notes to your friends in school?
  • 47. Do you replay things that have happened in your head?
  • 48. Were you single over the last summer?
  • 49. Is your life anything like it was two years ago?
  • 50. What are you supposed to be doing right now?
  • 51. Do you hate the last guy you had a conversation with?
  • 52. Are you nice to everyone?
  • 53. Have you ever liked someone you didn’t expect to?
  • 54. Do you think you can last in a relationship for 6 months and not cheat?
  • 55. Are you good at hiding your feelings?
  • 56. Do you think you like someone?
  • 57. Have you kissed someone whose name starts with a ‘J’?
  • 58. Do you prefer to be friends with girls or boys?
  • 59. Has anyone of your friends ever seen you cry?
  • 60. Do you hate anyone?
  • 61. How’s your heart?
  • 62. Is there something that happened in your past that you hate talking about?
  • 63. Have you ever cried over a guy?
  • 64. Who is probably talking a load of crap about you right now?
  • 65. Are your toenails painted pink?
  • 66. Will your next kiss be a mistake?
  • 67. Girls love it when boyfriends cry; correct?
  • 68. Have your pants ever fallen down in public?
  • 69. Who was the last person you were on the phone with?
  • 70. How do you look right now?
  • 71. Do you have someone you can be your complete self around?
  • 72. Can you commit to one person?
  • 73. Do you have someone of the opposite sex you can tell everything to?
  • 74. Have you ever felt replaced?
  • 75. Did you wake up cranky?
  • 76. Are you a jealous person?
  • 77. Are relationships ever worth it?
  • 78. Anyone you’re giving up on?
  • 79. Currently wanting to see anyone?
  • 80. Name something you have to do tomorrow?
  • 81. Last person you cried in front of?
  • 82. Is there someone you will never forget?
  • 83. Do you think the person you have feelings for is protective of you?
  • 84. If the person you wish to be with were with you, what would you be doing right now?
  • 85. Are you over your past?
  • 86. Have you ever liked one of your best friends of the opposite sex?
  • 87. Is there anyone you can tell EVERYTHING to?
  • 88. If your first true love knocked on your door with apology and presents, would you accept?
  • 89. So, the last person you kissed just happens to arrive at your door at 3AM; do you let them in?
  • 90. Have you ever liked someone who your friends hated?
  • 91. Will you be in a relationship in 2 months?
  • 92. Is there anyone you know with the name Michael?
  • 93. Have you ever kissed a Matthew?
  • 94. Were you in a relationship in January? How was it going?
  • 95. Were you happy with the person you liked in March?
  • 96. Don’t tell me lies, is the last person you texted attractive?
  • 97. Who do you have texts from?
  • 98. If the person you like says they like someone else, what would you say?
  • 99. Have you ever kissed someone older than you?
  • 100. Who’s in your profile picture with you?
  • 101. Ever kissed under fireworks?
  • 102. Has anybody ever given you butterflies?

Above the Streets of Withernsea


Andrew turned to her, natural as breathing, and put his arm about her, reveling in the subtle give of her flesh under layers of cloth. He licked his  lips and pressed closer to her, lowering his head to kiss her sun-warmed skin.

“Glad to know I’m tolerable, then.” he murmured, carefully dragging his lips over the curve of her cheekbone, the line of her jawbone. He nipped her just beneath her ear and asked,

“This alright?”

It took Sarah a moment to register his words. It had been so long since anyone had touched her like this that she’d forgotten: instead she’d spent nights in her lonely bed thinking about one person in particular. At the moment nothing was further from her mind than her foolish dreams and Andrew’s lips were most definitely at the forefront!

“S’wonderful,” she muttered as she rolled her head back to lean against his shoulder to give her something to rest against and him better access to the sensitive spots of her throat.

“What if someone comes up?”

In the Yard


His chest ached. “She wouldn’t ‘ave.” Thomas mumbled, rolling his cigarette around his fingers, still staring at her black shoes, refusing to look up at her. He didn’t know he could reveal such a side of himself to O’Brien, but he was on his last legs. Everyone knew now what he was, and he could see it written on all of their faces. They were waiting for him to mess up again so they could finally say good riddance. 

And then at her next statement, Thomas gave a cold laugh. He looked up at her, eyes red, face even more pale than usual. A sardonic smile rested on his lips. “Is that what you think?” He asked, his voice low, barely a whisper. 

You should be horse-whipped!

“I don’t know what possessed Lord Grantham to keep me on, but I’m almost certain it was because I’m the best damn cricket player for Downton.” The game had gone very well, in spite of everything. At first he had felt relief, but the harsh reality was setting in. He smoothed out his hair. “As for Carson, you’re very wrong. He was ready to get rid of me. He’s been wanting to for years, and this was his chance.” Even if the man had seemed somewhat sympathetic, he knew he was looking forward to Thomas’ absence. “He’s not very happy about the current situation. Nor am I, really.”

“M’on very thin ice. You’ve won, Sarah.” Not to mention he was going to have to play Saint Thomas and be celibate for the rest of his life, lest he want the police to come to Downton and drag him away for sodomy. The worst part of it all was the look Jimmy gave him every day, every time he had to address him. “You’ve made me the least trusted person here. I feel as if I should hand in my notice, but I know Lord Grantham would be disappointed after he ‘fought so bloody hard,‘“his voice took a sarcastic tone, “to keep me on.”

He pinched the bridge of his nose. Thomas knew he had always been a loner, knew he never was a great presence among the staff, but now he felt completely isolated and detached. They all knew. Carson thought he was foul and should be horse-whipped. Mrs. Hughes pitied him. Everyone else hated him. And his closest friend was gone. He had no one. (That’s what he thought, anyway.) 

“Everything you did to help me was for your own benefit as well. Don’t play a saint.” He said lowly after a couple of moments, trying to control his emotions. “I am grateful for everything you’ve done for me in the past, but don’t make it like you did it out of the kindness of your heart. I’m not bloody dumb. And once Alfred bloody showed up, you were ready to throw me to the wolves. Don’t deny it. And you knowthe boy should have taken baby steps.” His voice was filled with malice. “You wanted me to start teaching him how to valet before he was even ready to be a bloody footman. You know how hard I had to work to get to being a valet. I believe in bloody hard work.” And a little sabotage. But he didn’t feel it was right: that Alfred got to be bred to be a champion stallion while still a wee babe while he had difficulty every step of the way trying to make himself a better world. He wasn’t sure what was fair and what wasn’t, but he hated how O’Brien thought she could ask him to do something so stupid. Maybe in time he would have agreed, but not when the bloody bastard just started. And certainly not now, with the way Alfred looked at him as if he should be skinned alive and fed to wolves.  

“How the bloody hell did you being a valet help me?”

She sneered at the notion and watched him in his heap, looking like a wretched, heap of a boy rather than the man she’d watched him become since he’d arrived at Downton. He’d been young, smartly dressed, a force of ingenuity and cunning to be reckoned with – not to match her, she’d known even then, but certainly with more about him that anyone else downstairs – and he’d needed moulding. Carson could teach him the necessary bits of his profession: how to set table and carry trays and polish the silver until it looked brand new, but she taken it upon herself to teach him how to advance and do well. Carson would have let him stagnate as a footman forever and Sarah had decided that this young lad needed her guidance in life.

She stared at him now, snivelling and sniffing with sorrow, clutching his cigarette like it was his only lifeline, eyes rimmed with old tears and all-but curled into a ball.

This was her fault.

“It doesn’t matter now.” She took a deep breath, inhaling the calming tendrils of her cigarette deep into her chest and tapping off the ash carefully away from him. She brought her other hand up to rub at her temples and rid herself of the pain that was gathering there. She’d had this headache for too long now, a constant niggle that came from always being on the alert, waiting for the next attack from the next idiot below stairs who thought they’d try their luck at talking back to the formidable O’Brien, or waiting for Mr Bates to say something now that he had knowledge of the secret she’d tried to squash for so many years now. That was the worst thing. Thomas had known something for years now, not the details, she’d never be that stupid, but he’d known and she’d found some comfort in the knowledge that he wouldn’t say anything because she’d known his secret to. They’d both played their hand now she supposed, but Bates still had her secret in the palm of his hand…or did he? That had been the source of her most recent headache – forever wondering what the valet knew.

“Does…” She leant down, resting her elbows on her knees and her head in her hands, just for a moment feeling as defeated as Thomas looked.

“Does Bates know everything about me? Because if he does and I lose my job then all the hard work in the world won’t help you once I’m bloody done lad.”

(Source: sarah-obrien)

Above the Streets of Withernsea


Andrew murmured something appropriate in reply, forgetting the words the moment they were out of his mouth. He held her hand in his again and reveled in it, this intimate little touch.

Calmed by the quiet of the lamp room and by the sprawl of the town beneath them Andrew stood closer to Sarah and, cautiously, released her hand and reached behind her, pressing his palm to the curve of her back, and caressing gently.

Andrew cleared his throat and tired to look away from her, turn his gaze back to the sea.

“I don’t often get to come here, but when I do…it all seems like it’ll be alright. Provides a bit of distance from everything.”

Sarah closed her eyes for a moment and let the warmth of the sun streaming through the clear glass heat up her skin and bring light to her eyes. The view was magnificent and it was a sight she was unlikely to forget particularly soon – at the moment she enjoyed the sheer sensation of being somewhere she didn’t have to listen for a bell or run about to somebody else’s command. She didn’t mind Lady Grantham of course, she’d have gone mad by now if she truly hated her, but sometimes she wished to just be out of her life for good.

And now she had a taste of it.

“I could stand a bit of distance myself…”

She leant back into his touch and stepped closer, letting his arm slip further around her waist.

“From some folks at least.”

In the Yard


“I wasn’t trying to get you fired.” Thomas hissed, and it was the truth. He just wanted to create a little stir of trouble, something she deserved for this whole thing starting. He never intended on having her fired, because he knew she had too much pull with Lady Grantham. It wasn’t harmless, per se, but it wasn’t going to be detrimental on her life. The situation didn’t almost ruin O’Brien. There was a little slap on the hands, and it was over and done with. 

But she had gone too far. Thomas couldn’t see past her wrongs for that. Honestly, he felt himself breaking inside. The whole thing was driving him insane, but his conclusion made him so depressed: no one would ever love him. He’d let himself become so obsessive with Jimmy. O’Brien played with his feelings with the intention to bring him down like this. She was a nasty bitch. 

He didn’t answer her other comments, to consumed with his thoughts. But then his back pressed against the wall, and his knees gave out. He slowly sank until he sat on the dirt, and he glanced at her feet. “I never wanted to bring up the soap. That was something that happened that was a huge mistake. But you must understand that I needed to save my own neck… you don’t know…” Thomas knew he probably would have been killed on the streets, and that thought terrified him. He ran his hands over his face before shoving the cigarette back in, his hands shaking. 

“Please leave Jimmy out of this, Sarah.” Thomas said weakly, looking at her with a pathetic look on his face. His anger had died down into something worse. “Please - I don’t think I could bare it any longer.” It was bad enough to see the looks on both his and Alfred’s faces, but if Sarah stirred up more trouble… if Jimmy made the situation even worse, Thomas wouldn’t know what to do with himself. He felt low, like all of his sins were finally resting on his shoulders, and he couldn’t take it anymore. He didn’t know where to go from here. He was pathetic.

Sarah stared down at the hulk of a man in front of her and tried to reconcile with herself the knowledge that she was the one who had done this to him. The one friend she’d managed to make at Downton Abbey and hold onto throughout all these years, without half of the complications she’d felt whenever she thought of her friendship with Cora Crawley, and now he was like…well, this.

It wasn’t all her fault she knew. The world and Jimmy Kent had been just as bad, although Sarah didn’t truly think that the latter was a bad lad, he was just easily led around and that was far from his fault when she thought of all the people with more going on between their ears than that dopey young man had who she’d controlled just as easily. Jimmy Kent had no right to know better at his age when much older and wiser people had been just as foolish.

She wrinkled up her nose at the spectacle of Thomas but oddly, despite everything, all she was concerned for was that someone else would see him like this. It felt like a hundred years since they had looked out for each other properly, but the instinct ran deep and she couldn’t help herself. She glanced over her shoulder and saw nothing but an empty yard.

She furrowed her brow as she watched him, her cigarette smouldering.

“She could have sacked me,” she spoke coldly. “You’ve got Carson and his lordship running to your side but they’re all against me these days.”

She sniffed with bemusement and neatly reached out for a wooden crate from the stack the delivery men had left and stood it on its side, giving herself something to sit on rather than muddying her clothes on the ground.

“It’s funny really. They all hate me because of the things I did to help you in the first place, setting Bates up and all…and now you’ve got them against me to keep your own sorry hide here.”

(Source: sarah-obrien)

I'd like to invite you to a new forum-based Downton Abbey RPG. (: You can find the link at my tumblog. Cheers! lovefordownton

Erm…thanks for the invite and all but why on earth have you invited me to be on your RPG when of the two characters that are taken one of them is the one I actually play?

Sarah and Andrew: In the Kitchen


Andrew was stunned when Miss O’Brien reached over the table and took his hand, a light touch that commanded attention. He looked at her, proud and coolly calm on the other side of the table and he felt, as he had not felt in years, that there was something behind this promise.

He curled his fingers around hers and squeezed gently in gratitude.

“That’s kind of you.”

He would die before he came running to her to fight his fights, like a sniveling child, but it meant much that she cared enough to offer.

Sarah didn’t remove her hand as much as her sense of self-preservation told her to. Someone could come in at any moment and the very last thing she felt like doing was explaining to Mrs Hughes why she was holding a man’s hand. She wasn’t entirely sure she could explain it to herself but Mr Lang gave her the most curious series of feelings she’d known in the many years since she’d come to Downton Abbey.

Thomas was easy, he felt like her younger brother, and she knew quite well what Lady Grantham felt like but she didn’t like to dwell on that too much. Mr Lang was somehow both of them but different altogether at the same time. If he went far away from Downton she would still worry for him but here and now she needed to be on his side and needed to lessen his burdens, because it made her feel like her own were reduced.

“Perhaps you’d like to get out of the house once in a while?” She panicked internally when she realised what that might sound like and amended it quickly. “Go for a walk away from everyone, or,” she smiled crookedly. “Take up smoking and come outside with me.”

Bloody hell Sarah O’Brien, that sounds ever worse!

(Source: sarah-obrien)

Sarah and Andrew: In the Kitchen


Andrew was startled to find a full-on grin was threatening to emerge and he looked aside, absently tipped his empty cup from side to side on his saucer.

“I really oughtn’t agree. It would be ungrateful of me.”

Yet he did rather agree, really; Lord Grantham was kind to him, in that vague way that lords and ladies had, but Andrew couldn’t help but think, as he polished the old medals and listened to another grumbling about duty and honor, that his master was a sad old fool.

It was all well and good for him to sigh and think wistfully of being a ‘true soldier’, wasn’t it? Andrew doubted one like Lord Grantham would be put in the thick of things, as he and the rest of Kitchner’s lot had been.

He sighed.

“Anyway, it’s all well and good not to care what others think, but it makes it a good bloody deal harder to keep on when they’re whispering about you and looking at you like you’ll take a bite out of ‘em at any moment.”

Sarah certainly knew that feeling. She’d been at Downton long enough now that her reputation extended beyond the house and even into the village and while there were plenty who treated her in the same way as they would any of the staff from up at the big house there were a few who moved out of her way without even being asked and some of the blokes even widened their eyes as though they expected her to blow fire at any minute. And at the house itself it was much worse – the family had never been too bad although she was quite sure she could tell off one of the girls and have her words stick. But below stairs… she’d lost track of the times Daisy had almost leapt out of her path rather than be accused of being in the way and Mr Molesley, along with the young housemaids, girls half his age, looked at her as though she might be their doom made flesh.

It must be worse for him being a soldier: the rumours of her black heart were just that of course but this was a man that was known to have killed for his own survival and she saw how people looked at him and Thomas and the soldiers hobbling back with uncertain futures in contrast to the officers. The officers had been men of rank with civilians before and they would be again – these men were treated like dogs.

Pressing her lips together Sarah hesitated for only a second before she reached her hand across the table and wrapped her fingers around his, moving his hand away from the cup.

“Well if anyone looks at you funny you send them my way and I’ll tell them how to behave.”

(Source: sarah-obrien)

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