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Welcome to Charming, the year is now 1894. It’s time to join us and immerse yourself in scandal and drama interlaced with magic both light and dark.

Where will you fall?

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Queen Victoria was known for putting jackets and dresses on her pups, causing clothing for dogs to become so popular that fashion houses for just dog clothes started popping up all over Paris. — Fox
It would be easy to assume that Evangeline came to the Lady Morgana only to pick fights. That wasn't true at all. They also had very good biscuits.
Check Your Privilege

when the cameras stop rolling it's just me and you
21 March, 1894 — Greengrass Home, Bartonburg

Four days back from their honeymoon, and four days since Ford had had a proper conversation with his wife. He was not avoiding her, by any stretch of the imagination, and they had interacted regularly in the house whenever he was home, but there were always so many other people in the house that it was hard to consider the words they exchange here or there proper conversation. If there had been anything weighing heavily on her mind he doubted she would have felt comfortable bringing it up over the dinner table or in the parlor, and they had scarcely been in private since their return from the Sanditon. Not from lack of desire on his part (though he suspected she might think so). He'd gone to work Monday morning and so had his suitcase still to unpack Monday night, while she had presumably already handled it during the day — and he had to write letters to all the usual shops and things to get an accurate picture of their accounts around town, which wasn't a quick or painless task. By the time he'd finished and peeked his head out into the hallway he didn't see light under her door, so thought it best not to bother her. Tuesday night was primarily spent going through the returns from all the letters he'd sent out on Monday, tracking them all down in the ledger and fretting over the ones that came back higher than he'd expected. Adding in a week's worth of missed wages while he'd been off with Jemima it put things in a less favorable position than he might have hoped for, and he'd spent a good deal of time sketching out plans for how they might recover the difference in the short-term. By the time he'd finished that he didn't bother checking for her light, because if she wasn't already asleep it would have been a bad sign, and he couldn't stomach any more problems for the night. Wednesday he'd stayed an hour late at work because one of the projects he'd left with a coworker while he was away hadn't been handled correctly and now things had come to a head and another department was ready to sit tapping their toe at the edge of his desk until it was sorted out — and after just had a week off, Ford was hardly in a position to bargain with anyone in his division to get off on time. When he'd returned home he'd been in something of a mood, antisocial and sulky, and had retreated to his room with a book (which, predictably, did little to help).

But today he'd come back from work on time and left the division's troubles back in the office; he'd left the desk drawer with the accounts ledger locked tight; he'd put the latest book of poetry back on the bookcase in the parlor. He had tried to teach Grace something about chess and he'd had a drink with Noble in the parlor for the first time since coming back home, and when he headed upstairs the light was still visible beneath her door. He knocked and waited for some acknowledgement before he entered, then shut the door behind him. He was still fully dressed and suddenly wondered if he ought to have stopped by his room to change first, in case she was already changed for bed and inclined to feel self-conscious about the disparity — but if that was the case he could undress here just as easily. They'd shared a room for a week at the Sanditon, after all.

"Hi," he said in greeting, then immediately continued, "I'm sorry I wasn't over sooner. I hope you don't think I've been intentionally neglecting you." He didn't actually know what sort of cadence these things usually happened on, with married couples, so maybe she hadn't felt that way at all — but after sharing a bed with her for a full week he certainly felt that he'd been neglecting her after four nights without so much as an embrace. "A week doesn't sound like such a long time to be gone, but it's long enough for things to pile up, I've found. But how are you?" he asked as he moved a little more into the room. This was the first time, he realized, that he had been in her room. He had been in this room before, but prior to her moving into it; now it had her things in it, and subtle evidences of having been lived in. The thought almost stopped him from taking another step — it seemed almost invasive, as though he ought to wait for more explicit permission to enter before he encroached on her space. He'd already taken a step, though, and couldn't backtrack now without making himself look foolish if this wasn't on her mind — and he did have a history of overthinking things with her (their wedding night, for one). He split the difference and hovered a few steps beyond the doorway. "How've you been settling in?"
Jemima Greengrass

Set by Lady!
She hadn’t known what to expect, of how their life (their life singular, as per their union?) would settle now that they were back. She had only just grown accustomed to the daily habits they had made at the Sanditon. Breakfasts and suppers and sleeping in the same bed. Talking, too. It had not felt like a great deal of talking at the time, but now that they had hardly traded words between themselves in days except in small snatches, Jemima found herself quite stranded without his company.

And maybe this was normal and she should learn to live with it, to swallow every passing thought and doubt and keep herself to herself and hope that she was fulfilling her end of the marriage by simply – existing. In fairness, Ford had seemed busy most times she had seen him in the house – and he had siblings and a mother who presumably wanted things of him, and the Ministry, and whatever else. (A past to grieve, if she had not misread.)

She was in a dressing gown over her nightclothes when the knock came, considering writing a journal entry but hardly able to decide how to begin it. She hadn’t written properly for days, and not at the Sanditon either – it felt like too much, and too difficult when one shared a room – and when she had taken it out tonight she had found that letter from Jack folded in it, which had made her feel guilty enough to put the journal away again at once.

So she had picked up a hairbrush instead as she let him in, standing up to greet him and casting him a small, understanding smile but deciding not to cross the room to close the distance, if he had not. He had come bearing apologies and excuses, which eased a little of the discomfort in her gut – but after days of inescapable awkwardness, both in the house and out of it, even that show of consideration could not dislodge it all. “Well,” Jemima answered lightly, brightly, reassuring, even as she turned the hairbrush over and over unconsciously in her hands. “I’m well.”

She felt fidgety like this, so she perched herself on the side of the bed – her bed – in what she thought an invitation for Ford to make himself more comfortable too, if he liked. “How are you? Besides – busy,” she ventured.

He was lucky it was her, Ford thought, not for the first time. He could not yet feel fortunate at the circumstance of being married at all, and it was possible he never would, but if one removed that bit from the equation — if one supposed it an inevitability that he would be forced into a hasty marriage with a woman he hardly knew at an inopportune moment in his life — then he was lucky it was her. Because he knew she was lying when she said she was well. He could notice little things like the way she was twisting the hairbrush or the hesitation before she sat on the bed, which felt just half a step out of sync with the brightness of her tone. Even if she didn't have a single tell, he could have guessed how she was based only on what he knew of her situation, with the rumors and his family and everything else. But even so she held her chin up and kept her tone light; she really was determined to make the best of it. After the pressure build-up of the last four days, he was so grateful for it he could have kissed her straight off.

"No, just busy," he said with a light shake of his head, because there was no other descriptor of his mood over the last four days that he wanted to bring into this room and lay within the space between them. He had (somewhat subconsciously) been expecting to be burdened with some of her complaints when he came over tonight, and just because she wasn't inclined to give him any didn't mean he needed to fill the gaps in with complaints of his own. He moved further into her room, eyes flickering once between the chair at her vanity and the bed where she'd sat as he decided which direction to go. He veered towards the bed and sat beside her, not touching her yet — but he leaned his arm back on the bed at an angle, so that if she was inclined to close the distance it wouldn't take much. "How do you like the room?" he asked. He'd asked the same question when he presented it to her, on the day they'd returned from their honeymoon, but it felt a materially different inquiry now that she'd had a chance to actually live in it.

The following 1 user Likes Fortitude Greengrass's post:
   Jemima Greengrass

Set by Lady!
Jemima was having some difficulty deciding whether she had missed him in the last few days, or it was just a misleading symptom of how miserable and lonely she actually was.

Ford hadn’t given much away, so she shifted a knee to angle herself a little better towards him on the bed, eyeing his face for some indication of his mood – and at least his next question was an easy one about which to be honest.

“It’s nice,” Jemima said, sincerely. She was more accustomed to it now, exchanging the Sanditon’s seaside views for a sea of Bartonburg houses beyond her window; and she felt much more comfortable knowing that it was a new extension of the building and that she hadn’t unwittingly forced one of his sisters or Greer or Lorelei out of the room by moving in. “I’m fond of it already.”

It did feel strangely separate to everyone else in the house, which was nice as a retreat; although in the last few days it had left her feeling rather alone, isolated from everything else. She dearly hoped that feeling wouldn’t keep. But it’s strange to not be sharing with you (after their shared room at the Sanditon), Jemima almost considered saying; but she bit her tongue, blushing at the implication. “It just needs some flowers, I think, and then it’ll be perfect.” Just to brighten the space on the drearier days – she could pick something to match the colours of the wallpaper – or maybe she would refresh them regularly with new flowers, make a wordless diary of how she was feeling from them. (If she worked up the courage to go to the florist’s, that was – the incident at the shop the other day had thrown her a little.)

“How’s your new room?” Jemima returned with a wry quirk of a smile, because he couldn’t have been on this floor before, it must be new to him too. And she would stubbornly keep to this kind of small talk, since he had started with it.

Ford wasn't sure if she was trying to drop a hint, but he took it as one regardless. Flowers were quite a reasonable ask, particular in exchange for a label of perfect. He'd go to Wildflowers for them, obviously; after Daffodil Grimstone nee Potts had outfitted both his and Verity's weddings it would have felt like a betrayal to buy anywhere else, and she had always given them extremely reasonable prices. Did he know what Jemima's favorite flowers were? He'd brought her some yellowish ones when he'd visited her before the wedding, but she'd never actually taken them. Probably not those. Had she had any input in choosing the flowers for the wedding? He couldn't recall.

She asked about his room and he smiled, conspiratorial, as though they were sharing a private joke. "Too big," he replied, meaning nothing particular by it. After his previous bedroom, which had been intended as quarters for a live-in servant like a nanny, it certainly felt too big. "Maybe I'll grow into it."

Set by Lady!

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