Title: For Now
Fandom: Keeping Up Appearances
Rating: PG for drunkenness :-)
Summary: Takes place aboard the QE2 immediately after the episode "Sea Fever" - just a brief, fluffy glimpse of Richard and Hyacinth.
Word count: 861
Disclaimer: I don't own them, they aren't making me any money.
Author's Notes: My very first KUP fic. Turned out far different from how I originally intended, but it serves its purpose. Although I'm actually a little bit of a Richard/Elizabeth shipper, it strikes me as odd that there are very few (if any - I haven't found them yet) KUP fics that show any sort of tenderness between Richard/Hyacinth.
Richard helped Hyacinth down the corridors of the QE2 to their cabin; she could barely stand up straight by herself, let alone walk. The first drink had just been to drown her bitterness over Onslow and Daisy, but as the night wore on, even Hyacinth had begun to enjoy herself. Some part of her realized that for once in their lives, Onslow and Daisy were people she could allow herself to been seen with socially, and she decided to make the most of the opportunity.
"I rather DO like Onslow," Hyacinth slurred loudly as her husband opened the door for her.
"I know you do, dear." Richard smiled just a bit to himself as he shut the door and guided Hyacinth to sit down on the bed. Stretching, he sat down on the other side and began taking off his shoes.
"He'd be...be perfebly nice if he'd wear more suits."
"Yes, dear." The truth was, as much as Hyacinth absolutely hated everything about the way Onslow dressed, looked, and lived...she didn't actually hate her brother-in-law. Onslow was such an affable fellow, it was hard for anyone to completely hate him, even Hyacinth. She just abhorred everything about the way he lived his life.
"Richard!" The exclamation was accompanied by a finger poking him in the back, and he twisted around to see his wife lying on her back with a reproachful look on her face. "You've gone an' put me to bed with me clothes on!"
Richard turned away again to hide a smile and a chuckle. It wasn't often that Hyacinth was intoxicated at all, nevermind intoxicated enough to slip into the way of speaking she was brought up with. For as much emphasis as she put on proper speech and grammar, he knew she grew up speaking in the same common manner her sisters still kept.
"I haven't put you to bed, dear. I sat you down, the lying down you did yourself," he replied patiently.
"Did I? Well, that was foolish of me, wasn't it?" Hyacinth replied vaguely, then giggled, presumably at her own foolishness. A pause, and then an indignant, "Richard, why would you LET me get into bed with all my clothes on?"
Sighing, Richard wiped one hand across his face. "I don't think I've ever let you do anything," he remarked, being candid for once; he'd had enough to drink to be honest, and Hyacinth wouldn't remember anything he'd said in the morning, anyway. "You've certainly never asked my permission, you just...do as you like. Besides, you aren't actually in bed, you're just atop the covers."
"I do LIKE dancing," Hyacinth interjected as she sat up suddenly, then began poking her husband in the back again. "Richard! Richard, why don't we ever go dancing anymore?"
"Because you've said anything other than ballroom dancing is unsuitable for persons of our social standing," he replied, standing up to change into his pyjamas. "Shame, really - you were always a terrific dancer."
"Richard! I'll hold a candlelight dupper sance!" Hyacinth exclaimed delightedly. Richard frowned in thought, at first having thought his wife said she was going to hold a seance, but he hadn't much time to think about it - Hyacinth had decided to stand up again, and he barely had time to hold out his arms and catch her as she stumbled forward towards him.
"Hyacinth, if you keep stumbling about like this, you're going to make yourself sick," he chided, steadying her with both hands on her shoulders. She frowned at him.
"Nonsense, Richard. Besides, I don't want to lie down, the cabin goes all wobbly when I do."
Maybe it was the situation, or maybe it was the thought of his Hyacinth holding a seance that had just popped back into his mind, but something struck Richard as terribly funny. He began laughing, and without knowing what she was doing, Hyacinth started to laugh along with him. In the next minute she was leaning up against him, giggling onto his shoulder while he wrapped his arms around her ample frame.
"You know something, Hyacinth?"
"I love you."
And it was true. He didn't know why, sometimes. She had always been a domineering woman, but as the years worn on, she had nagged him until there were days he felt as if he might just disappear. It was true that most times, he missed the woman he had married, the woman who was so sure and confident in herself but also had time for him. Granted, she still doted on him in her own way...but her attentions in recent years lay in keeping his shirts ironed and his table set, not in any real companionship. Sometimes, he was sure Hyacinth had forgotten how to laugh at anything genuine.
But she was laughing now. For now, Richard was content to hold his wife and laugh with her at a joke neither one of them could understand or explain. He could forget for at least one night that there were days when he privately thought she was a damned insufferable woman and seriously contemplated running away.
For now, they could be happy.
The Bouquet Residence
- For Now