Thomas Barrow, Jimmy Kent, Downton Abbey
Title: Mistaken Intentions
Length: 8 chapters
Warning: Language, mild sexual content

Chapter One

Thomas was hungry. He knew that everyone was still reeling from Matthew Crawley's death and that things were in disarray, but still ... You'd think someone would remember that I'd like to eat. He glanced at his clock. Almost ten thirty and no one had brought him his breakfast. I guess I'll have to try to get something myself. He was feeling sorry for himself. No one else seems to so why not? He sat up straighter and swiveled, trying to get his legs out of the bed. The effort made him grunt in pain and inhale sharply, which in turn made him cough. Aagghh, I'm sure I've cracked a rib or two. That quack will have missed that. He waited for a moment before finally pushing himself to his feet and beginning to hobble toward the dresser. Jesus. Maybe I should ask Bates if I can borrow his cane. No, I'm already in his debt. He still didn't like Bates no matter what he had done for him. Holier-than-thou bastard. Don't know what Anna sees in him.

He looked in the mirror. Now, who's that handsome devil? No wonder Jimmy took pity on me and agreed to become my friend. He thought about that conversation. Am I still so desperate to be near him that I'll grovel? Settle for scraps if I can't have the meal? He started to laugh, but a sharp punch of pain cut it short. Of course I am. Sorry bastard. Groaning, he struggled out of his undershirt and dropped his pyjama bottoms, stepping out of them and leaving them on the floor. I'm not going to try to pick those up. He found clean underwear and set them on the top of the dresser. Now, how the hell am I going to get into these without falling over. He was still staring at them when the door swung open. Without thinking he turned to face it, losing his balance and banging his injured ribs on the side of the dresser.

"Sorry this is late Mr. Barrow .... Oh."

The pain brought tears to his eyes, but he managed to grunt out between gasps

"Wh... Who the hell are you? Where's Jimmy?"

"I'm Simon, the new hall boy. I don't know where Mr. Kent is. Mrs. Patmore almost took my head off because no one had brought you your breakfast. Wasn't my fault. I didn't know. No one told me to do it. I ...."

"Okay, okay. I don't need a blow by blow of your morning. Set it down and get out."

Simon walked past him to the desk.

"Are you sure, Mr. Barrow? You look like you need some help."

Thomas looked down. Oh, for Christ's sake. He grabbed his pants and, forgetting that he shouldn't, he bent down to put them on. Too late he realised his mistake and was about to land on the floor head first when Simon wrapped his arms around him from behind and pulled him upright.

"Jesus! My ribs. Watch what you're doing."

"Do you want me to let you go?"

Hmm, perhaps not a good idea. "No. Just move your bloody arms higher." Right, act like an asshole. "Please." He waited for a few seconds to regain his balance, holding onto the dresser to steady himself. "You can let go now."

As Simon dropped his arms his cuffs grazed Thomas's nipples sending an enticing shiver up and down his spine. Really? I feel like I'm on my last legs and yet ... Maybe that's a good sign.

"You're still not wearing anything, you know."

"Apparently I can't bend over."

"Give them to me." Simon grabbed the pants as he moved to face Thomas, then knelt in front of him. "Just step into them."

Thomas placed his hands on Simon's shoulders and obeyed. As Simon pulled the pants up, the waistband momentarily caught his cock, pushing it up and out toward his face.

"Uh ... What's going on?"

Thomas, pants half way up - or down, depending on your perspective - his hips, looked up to see Jimmy standing in the doorway.

"I needed some help."

"So I see." Jimmy glared at Simon. "You can go now. I'll take it from here."

"Yes, Mr. Kent." Simon rose and quickly side-stepped Jimmy to get out the door.

"Thanks, Simon," Thomas called after him.

Jimmy looked at Thomas, shaking his head.

"A bit young for you, isn't he?"

"What? Surely you don't think...."

"I know what I saw. A few seconds later and I would have had to pull you off him."

"Right. It's my fault. You're a fucking idiot, Jimmy. I can hardly stand and yet you think I'm ready to bugger anything on two legs."

"Oh, I think you have some boundaries. It would have to be male."

Thomas winced as his snort of laughter rattled his side.

"You don't think much of me, do you?" He turned and shuffled back to his bed. "Besides, what's it to you? It wasn't your prim and proper mouth about to do me the favour." Not bloody likely. "Do you want to know what it feels like? Is that it? Having your cock ..."

"Stop it, Thomas! That's enough."

Jimmy was blushing, but Thomas couldn't tell if it was from embarrassment or anger or ....

"Fine. Just leave me alone." He cast a glance at the dresser. Damn. I need my undershirt.

As if he knew what he was thinking, Jimmy picked the shirt from the dresser and brought it to him.

"You can't sit like that. Raise you arms above your head." He dropped the shirt over them and pulled it down at the sides. "And you need to eat. Do you want that," pointing to the tray of now-cold breakfast, "or do you want me to see if I can get Daisy to make you a sandwich on the sly."

"I don't much care right now," Thomas snapped. Jimmy had hurt him, but he wasn't going let him know.

"I'll get you something." He picked up the tray and was headed out the door when he turned. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have just assumed that you ..."

"No, you shouldn't have."

As Jimmy closed the door behind him, he had to lean against the jamb to stop his legs from shaking. Jesus fucking Christ, I'm jealous!