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fic: Soak

Title: Soak
Fandom: The Marlows - Antonia Forest
Length: 525 words
Content notes: no warnings apply
Pairings/Character: Rowan Marlow/Jan Scott; Rowan Marlow
Author note: Written for the Dirty challenge at [community profile] fan_flashworks. This fic is for [personal profile] lilliburlero and was inspired by their Shattering thoughts.
Summary: Rowan Marlow has a much needed bath and lets her mind wander.

Harvest-time was the worst, Rowan reflected, trying to brush the straw out of her hair. She was filthy all over, covered in dust and longing for a whisky and a bath. If her mother were here she might have said something about the whisky, but Commander Marlow's ship was in port and Mrs Marlow had dashed off to see him as soon as she got word. Someone who wasn't one of the Marlows' eight children might have found that romantic; Rowan had seen her mother off with a benevolent grin and assurances that everything at Trennels was under control.

And so, on the whole, everything was. The farm was doing well enough, though Rowan felt she was still scrambling to keep up with all the new things there were to learn. (The farm log was proving surprisingly helpful in this.) There would come a time, no doubt, when Giles would decide he'd quite like to take over now, but she wasn't going to let herself dwell on that.

With her mother away, Peter at Dartmouth and Ann, Ginty, Nick and Lawrie at Kingscote, she needn't scruple about running herself a luxuriously deep bath for once, or taking a stiff whisky up with her to enjoy while she soaked. The jar of bath salts was nearly empty; she threw in a generous handful, enjoying the piney scent.

At Kingscote now they'd be getting changed for supper, a practice she'd never seen the point of. But then so much of school seemed pointless in retrospect: not the lessons, but the endless pettifogging rules, both written and unwritten. The world according to Miss Keith: it was good to be shot of all that.

There were very few things she missed about Kingscote, and one of those wasn't there any more. She wondered where Jan was now, and what she was doing. Their last encounter, after that rather extraordinary production of The Tempest, had been frustrating for its lack of information as well as for other reasons.

Meeting Jan, she'd found it impossible not to remember what had happened between them in the Pavilion after the Cricket Cup semi-final, and she'd been as sure as she could be that Jan was remembering it too. She wondered now if anyone else had seen Jan as she'd seen her that day, in a state so different from her usual cool detachment; she thought it unlikely. A part of her was still surprised at her own boldness in having made the advance, and at Jan's amused and knowing acceptance of it. The pleasure of such an encounter was necessarily brief and singular, but it had left its mark on both of them nonetheless.

And if she occasionally allowed herself to remember it when alone, or even permitted imagination to improve on memory, what harm could it do? Their paths were scarcely likely to cross again now; the risk of further embarrassment was too slight to constrain her if she wished to indulge.

Rowan topped up the hot water and took a long draught of whisky. She leaned back with a sigh, letting the water lap around her neck, and closed her eyes.

Also posted at http://fengirl88.dreamwidth.org/192657.html with comment count unavailable comments.


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