Thomas Barrow, Jimmy Kent, Downton Abbey
Title: Mistaken Intentions
Length: 8 chapters
Warning: Language, mild sexual content
What the hell was that all about? Thomas settled back into his bed, leaning against the headboard. Does he really think I would try something with Simon? He can't be more than fifteen. You'd think Jimmy would give me credit for having some self-control. Or does he really believe that's the way men like me are. Of course, I didn't have much self-control when I kissed him and maybe he thinks... I'll just have to talk to him about it. He's my friend, right? Friends can talk about these things. But maybe we're not good enough friends yet. I'll start small. I'll try to apologise for the kiss. Although you'd think that getting beat up for him would be enough of an apology. Shit! This is giving me a headache. And I'm still hungry. Where is he with that sandwich?
What the hell was that all about? Simon almost ran down the stairs toward the servants' hall. I was just doing what I was told to. Deliver his breakfast. Although the thing with his pants wasn't something I bargained for. Still, there was no reason for Mr. Kent to act like that. It was his voice; I know it only too well. it sounded like my father's just before he was going to hit me. I was only trying to help. I hate this place and I thought helping him out would make me feel better. Maybe make a friend. Although I doubt Mr. Barrow would ever want to be friends with the likes of me. Instead Mr. Kent made me feel like I did something wrong. I didn't. I don't think I did. Fine. I'll just tell Mrs. Patmore I'm never going near Mr. Barrow again. Can I do that? Probably not. Shit! I work for every one of them. Patmore, Kent, Barrow, Hughes, Carson and I don't get a say in anything. I hate this place.
What the hell was that all about? Jimmy pushed himself away from the door jamb and started down the hall. I can't be jealous. And even if I were, how could I be jealous of that little creep. To be fair, he's not a creep; he's just a stupid hall boy. Besides, there's nothing to be jealous about. Thomas is my friend. Nothing more. Although I'm not really sure why I agreed to that. I really don't need a friend. Never have. I just wanted to show I'm grateful that he was the one who got the shit kicked out of him and not me. He looks like crap. I never saw those bruises before. Of course I couldn't have, could I. He's always had his undershirt on ... and his pyjama bottoms. Still I didn't like Simon touching him like that. I'm sure he was staring at his cock. Was Thomas enjoying that? I'm sure he was, the randy bugger. No, that's not right. I really have to believe him. He has no reason to lie. Does he? I'm not jealous, just concerned for a sick friend who was being tempted by a conniving little shit.
Jimmy met Simon in the hall as he came out of the kitchen.
"But I've got to ..."
"I said wait here."
"Yes, Mr. Kent"
Jimmy continued into the kitchen where he set the breakfast tray down on the counter. Daisy looked over from the stove.
"He didn't eat it?"
"It got cold. Simon didn't get it there fast enough. Can you maybe make him a quick sandwich and a cup of tea? I'll take it up myself. Better not to leave these things to hall boys, you know."
"Alright. But don't pick on Simon. He's new and he has to learn."
"Yeah. Sure. I'll be back in a few minutes."
He returned to the hall and motioned for Simon to follow him to a quiet corner.
"Mr. Kent, I really have to go."
"What were you doing in Mr. Barrow's room?"
"I took him his breakfast. Everyone forgot about him."
Jimmy winced at that because he was the one who forgot.
"And that was all?"
"Yes." Simon forehead wrinkled as he tried to think what else there could have been. "Except he needed help to get dressed."
"And you felt it was your place to do that?"
"I didn't know I wasn't supposed to." He paused. "Why wasn't I supposed to? It seemed the right thing to do and there was no one else around to help."
"Did he say anything to you or do anything?"
Simon looked puzzled.
"No. I don't think ... Wait, yes he did."
Simon cringed against the wall as Jimmy grabbed him by the shoulder, digging his fingers deep into the muscle.
"What? Don't lie to me or you'll regret it."
"Don't. That hurts." He could feel the tears stinging his eyes. "He thanked me. That's all. You heard him."
"You expect me to believe that's all he said the whole time you were there."
"No, there were other things I guess, but that's all I remember." That's all that matters. "Let me go." He kicked Jimmy in the shin.
"Why, you little shi..."
"James. Why are you keeping Simon from his work?"
Jimmy released him and spun around to face Mrs. Hughes.
"We were just having a little talk. I was trying to give him some helpful hints."
"You appear to have an odd way of doing that." She nodded to Simon. "Off you go."
"Yes, Mrs. Hughes."
She watched Simon hurry down the hall before speaking to Jimmy again.
"You leave that boy alone. I watched Thomas torment William Mason for too long and I will not have a repeat of that. You are aware that Mr. Carson listens closely to what I have to say about staff."
"Yes, Mrs. Hughes."
"Good. Then that's the end of it."
Daisy poked her head out of the kitchen.
"Jimmy, can I see you for a minute?"
"Go see what she wants. And remember what I said."
Jimmy was still upset when he walked into the kitchen. He bloody kicked me in the shin. Mind you, that took guts. I never would have done that as a hall boy.
"Here's the sandwich. The tea's ready too. Now get out of here before Mrs. Patmore shows up."
"Thank you, Daisy. You're my favourite you know."
"Oh, I'll have to write that down in my diary. Shoo."
As he climbed the stairs to the men's quarters he tried to understand why he had treated Simon so badly. That's not like me. He really is only a boy and he wouldn't have tried anything like that. I'm not being realistic. Jimmy like to think he was level-headed, but something about today had him thoroughly confused. It's just that I didn't expect to find Thomas half-naked with someone kneeling in front of him. That would bewilder anyone. He stopped in front of Thomas's door to comb his fingers through his hair, adjusting the front wave.
"That took you long enough."
"Sorry, I got pulled aside. You know how these things are."
Jimmy handed him the sandwich and went around the bed to set the tea on his nightstand.
"Are you comfortable? Do you want me to fix that pillow?" He reached down and pulled it up slightly, one hand brushing against Thomas's ear.
Thomas stopped mid-bite to look up at him.
"What's so funny?"
"Nice to see you smiling again." Better than that scowl you gave me earlier.
"It must be the company."
Thomas watched the pink creep into Jimmy's cheeks.
"I've got to go before Mr. Carson lumbers up those stairs looking for me."
"We wouldn't want that. Thank Daisy for the sandwich. Hits the spot."
"Why don't I come back later tonight before I go to bed. Maybe we can talk."
"That would be nice, I get bored with no one around. Besides I'd like to hear about what's going on."
"Good. I'll see you then."
After Jimmy left, Thomas considered what had happened as he finished his meal. The most time Jimmy had spent with him was what seemed like only a few minutes during the day. Of course, they had only been friends for a few days so maybe he hadn't had the chance for anything else what with all the upheaval of Matthew Crawley's death. Still, something about Jimmy seemed to have changed. That outburst earlier passed quickly but whatever was behind it wasn't over.