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for All That Is Left

3/11/2012 c30 29Lia06
Thank you for writing this. I loved it, and I'm sad to see it ending although ending it with Matthew as the new Earl commemorating the war dead was absolutely perfect.

Thanks for sharing this with us.
3/11/2012 c30 28Terriah
Loved it, well done you! x
3/8/2012 c29 1OnlyALouse
I'm so so sorry for not reviewing earlier! I was very very excited when I saw this had updated, and then I had to wait a whole day of school before I could read it (couldn't concentrate on anything!) and then I've been so ridiculously busy I haven't been able to review! But now I have time!

I don't know what to say. Honestly. It was everything I thought it would be, and more. Tremendously written and well, wonderful!

You gave her a pony! I had an inkling that might happen when Kit had her rocking horse and Bel was trying to be ever so good, but was disappointed - I thought 'A real pony!' And then you did, and it was magical! I loved that bit - Brilliant! :D :D

The shooting scene was fabulous, just perfect for ATiL's Mary and Matthew (and the way it should have been!) And Mary's scene with Robert was just as poignant as in the CS, really really moving - written ever so beautifully and I just loved it! Speaking of scenes that I loved (in all honesty its all of them) the punch scene was brilliantly re-invented - fabulous idea and it worked so well, heheh :D

And then they were twirling and it was beautiful and happy and everything was wonderful. Apart from the fact that we now only have one more chapter. That in itself is enough to make me cry! You need a new project! Any ideas?

Looking forward to the epilogue'y chapter very very much :D

Alice x
3/8/2012 c29 3Stego24
This is one of the best Downton Abbey fics I've read. You've used the concept and the characters very well to make an interesting story that develops naturally; the prose is very good; the romance is very satisfying - all in all, a fantastic what-if story!
3/8/2012 c29 BeAPotterhead
Oh dear. One more chapter. I shall have to consign myself to re-reading this and looking at spoiler pics. It's beautiful, you know, the skill you have with words. Oh dear. I do feel rather emotional. Thank you, for this story. With my love.
3/8/2012 c29 15Serena89
YOU GAVE HER A PONY! You gave her a pony! You gave her a *pony*! It made me almost as happy as getting a pony myself! Oh it was such a wonderful Christmas. I loved how poor Mabel was all sad with her drawing book while her little sister had gotten a rocking horse, and yet (because Mabel is a wonderful big sister) she tried to be the bigger person and not take it out on Kit or anyone for that matter. And how she said she didn't want to use Kit's horse, awww, I imagined her voice little, almost a whisper. I'm full of love right now.

Oh, Mary is insatiable! MWAHAH. As she should be, as they both are. "Maybe he's had enough banging for a lifetime" well I'm pretty sure he can take more banging lolololol. Okay, silliness ends here I swear.

Good point about Matthew losing some sensibility in the cold mornings, and how he woke Mary for help. It speaks a lot, in terms of his relationship with her - there was a time he wouldn't have asked her, out of self-pity, and shame, and anger, but he knows there's nothing wrong with asking your wife for a help she happily gives. They're completely open with each others, vulnerable and strong. This is the kind of marriage I want to see. With the little moments with the children you so beautifully inserted (Matthew reading to them! Well, of course it must happen).

The family without Cora, you're right, doesn't feel quite complete and yet it tried to move on, again sustained by the Crawley Women and it gave me a sense of warmth. Edith, running the house, indeed playing the Countess...it was brilliant, and I respect Edith so much. Living in Downton, she's probably the one who's had to gather the pieces of her mother's death and start from there, support her father, while knowing she doesn't have much else outside of it. All very sad, but the relationship you created between Edith and Mary here was comforting. Like they've gotten so much closer because they've known too much pain from losing both a Mother and, in a way, a sister.

I love Robert with Bobbie. I know he loves all of his grandchildren (OH SNAP Mary instantly changing tone when she said that if Robert didn't love her children she'd never set foot in the house. I love Mama Mary, she's like a lioness protecting her cubs. It gave me chills.) but of course there's something in Bobbie that gives him hope. He's the future heir, and he arrived in a moment of loss. And well, he's the first little Crawley boy he's had to spoil, so he can finally play with whatever boys like to play with. Mud or sticks or pulling girls' ponytails.

I'm glad you let Matthew say Lavinia had died. Okay, it sounded wrong. But I meant that you let it known that she was meant to die, broken heart or not, from the flu and this time of course Matthew had no reason to think otherwise. This way, the story comes full circle to me. And I also appreciate that you commented on how familiar Matthew is with a weapon (and how Mary shudders at the thought) because after years of war, I doubt he's all that incompetent with a shotgun. I just assumed he really didn't want to succeed, because he's seen (and procured) too much death. They were both details I've appreciated a great deal.

Oh Matthew punching Richard is always a delight, in any universe. But thanks to you I've finally understood the vase line! I had never thought of (or realized) that since he refused to apologize for his behavior as a whole (he was not sorry in the least for punching Carlisle) he apologized for breaking the vase! That was a "ooooooh" moment for me. So yay! See, that's why I love fanfictions. They make me understand the show itself way better.

The ending was fantastic. It left me thinking that I will definitely miss this fanfiction, and their little family, and Bel and Kit and now even little Bobbie. But I know it must end, and I trust you to write another wonderful long fic after this :D
3/7/2012 c29 36Pemonynen
I feel like I should be in mourning that it's nearly the end. Is that weird? Probably, but I don't want it to end! *Sniffs*

Firstly, Matthew's muscles feeling stiff in a morning...*snorts*. ;) (I AM SORRY. Yes I do know how incredibly childish that is but I am beyond impropriety this week!) Also, massages...very inventive! ;)

I did well up at their Christmas day though. Poor Edith and poor Mary. It is still so very sad not having Cora there (to be expected though), but this: "How was she to be a Countess, how was she to learn without her mother to teach her the role?" My poor heart! *Sniffs* But then Mabel got a pony! And she was jealous of Kit's rocking horse! You write them so well, SO WELL. And I know some of that is probably to do with the day job, but that can't take full credit! :P

BUT BUT BUT Matthew reading 'The Night Before Christmas'...*FLAILS* And him in shooting clothes...*MORE FLAILING*! (Note to self: do not mention puns about him handling weapons.) I like the idea of Mary being the one uncomfortable with him holding a gun, because I've always thought that he'd be the one who would be more hesitant about handling a gun again, but it makes so much sense in this because they were together throughout the war. And hot tweed sex! I don't even know if that's a thing that exists or makes sense in English, but YES.

I love how you've reworked all the CS stuff, because like you said, the point of that was to get them together. MARRIED! AAAAHHHHHH! :D:D:D Sorry, can't stop won't stop flailing and grinning about that! Anyway... Yes, Mary and Robert's conversation (ok fine, I'll admit to welling up then as well), and GAH giving her what was the gist of Cora's words about Sybil and how he regrets the family being torn apart as well but can't express it *sniffs*, and how you've brought the trial in...brilliant! AND THE FIGHT! IT'S A REAL FIGHT! Loved it!

And then the ball...and Mary dancing with Robert and then Matthew, because they never had a 'proper' wedding, so they never had their wedding dances and that is what I thought of when I read that bit. *Sniffs* DAMN YOU, YOU'VE DONE IT AGAIN! And how you re-worded his proposal...*flail*.

But now, the end is near, and so we face the final curtain... I'll stop now before I start sobbing.

Yes. So. Excellent, as always. Loved it, as always. Love you for writing it! *Hugs and tea* :D
3/7/2012 c29 19thorteso
I was wondering how you were going to deal with the Christmas Special, since, as you said, a lot of the M/M things have already been dealt with in this story. You did an excellent job, and I am very sad that this story only has one more chapter! Thanks for writing!
3/7/2012 c29 2anonnynonny
Ahhh! It's going to be over so soon! I've loved this story from beginning to end, through laughter and tears. You've done such an amazing job. Can't wait for the epilogue.
3/7/2012 c29 5AnniellaEyes
A perfect re-write of the CS; so glad that you managed to get the punch in, even in different circumstances!

I knew I only had time to read a couple of pages worth before I left for work this morning so got a little way through and then walked to work in the rain, grinning like a total muppet because Mabel got a pony for Christmas! Darling girl, loved her slightly put out jealousy of Kit's gift and the evolution of her speech. Fantastically written- although it's such a shame when children loose their lisps and mispronunciations as they grow, even fictional ones!

Thank you for sharing such a lovely tale. I'm excited for the next chapter but sorry that it will be the last :(
3/7/2012 c29 yamada-shiya
Amazing. When I read the first sentence or paragraph of the story, I already started tearing up because MY BABIES ARE GETTING MARRIED! THEY'RE GOONG TO BE LIKE THIS AND HAVE SEXY TIMES! :') God bless all the Mary and Matthew shippers. Also, when they gave Mabel that pony, I cringed. Lol maybe I'm just paranoid with children and ponies. Who knows, right? They might end up like Scarlett's daughter in Gone with the Wind? Although I know you're not that HEARTLESS to do that to us. Haha. Thanks for writing the chapter! Hope you'll get inspired again soon! And by that I mean I also hope there are more Season 3 photos coming. :)
3/6/2012 c29 GhostIsland
AWW, what a fitting day for the ATiL CS! :D A wonderfully creatively reinterpretation of the ep. :D ADORED the Mary and Robert convo, the shoot, the trial (in London!) the PUNCH and the servants ball - though what you did with Lavinia was my ABSOLUTE favorite. "These things happen, best not to dwell on them"...GENIUS! :D Of course, I LOVED the original portions of the chapter, as well - the AMAZINGLY HOT opening scene (hee, Matthew's back problems ;) and M/M's fight about him going to London. Grandpapa Robert with Bobby was SO CUTE, and Bel, Kit & Bobby were adorable. :D And I'm in awe of how reworked the proposal line, and that beautiful last, reflective M/M scene. Merry Christmas in March! I've no doubt the final chapter will be as heartwarmingly bittersweet as the whole story has been, and I can't WAIT! :D Please update...for the final time! :'(
3/6/2012 c29 smndolphin
I should be grabbing dinner before heading to the Ballet but just had to read this first and am so glad I did. As you mentioned, so many of the issues Matthew and Mary resolve in the CS have been resolved for months (if not years!) in your story, so I honestly had no idea what to expect. I did expect to love it, and I absolutely did.

To start, I loved how you did not forget of Matthew's injury. As much as it was nice to see him walking about et al in the CS, it was if it was completely forgotten he'd been paralyzed the year prior. Mary, of course being the dutiful wife, helps make it better, and definitely loved how he thanked her. At this point, they have been married for almost 6 years (yikes!) and it's so nice to see that fire has very much *NOT* burned out. But in many ways, it's grown stronger because their love has grown stronger. While your version of S2 has certainly been in so many ways a happier one, our darling couple had their fair share of challenges, and it has been amazing to see how they dealt with it.

Very interesting way of handling the trial and the reappearance of Sir Richard Carlisle. It made complete sense given then way your canon works. Loved Robert giving Matthew a heads up re: Sir Richard and loved Matthew's reaction even more. I love how fiercely protective he has always been of Mary and loved seeing how perspective he is of her as well. While I love seeing how Mary loves Matthew, I love even more seeing how Matthew loves her, and this is a wonderful example. Of course using Bobby as rationale for Mary to stay behind would work, and my heart broke a little at how Matthew never got to see Kit or Bel at that tender age. Babies grow so much and change so fast at that point, and he missed it for both his girls. It was very easy to visualize this version of the trial and it was great to see Matthew and Robert firmly back on the same side again. My heart broke anew at the reminder there was no good way to make Bates not guilty and loved seeing Matthew's feeling of the injustice of it all, which is likely how the character felt in canon based on how Dan portrayed those scenes (of course now the feelings are amplified with the additional fury of his wife getting hurt by that one mistake yet again). Was wondering how you'd work in the punch (an epic scene!) and loved it. Loved seeing how Robert broke the fight up with the same authority he did in CS and the way he stared Carlisle down and forced him to back off. Sad there was no way to work in the Dowager's zinger "Do you promise?" but loved that you worked in "Sorry about the vase"! The trial was another example of how switching one thread earlier one can have a drastic ripple affect (a la Sybil eloping because Mary wasn't there to stop her) in that Mary was not there for the trial. One of my favorite bits in the CS was Mary being there for Anna, but it would not have made sense in this canon, especially with travel to London necessary. But this version works just as well for different reasons :).

And now, post-Cora Downton. It hadn't occurred to me until I read it that now Edith is for all intents and purposes the Downton chatelaine with Cora gone, and was so glad to see the sisters have come to an understanding. It was so adorable watching Robert with Bobby. Yes, I said watching because it was far too easy to visual Hugh and Dan in that scene with an adorable little one passed between them. I know Robert still loves Bel and Kit, but there is a special fondness clearly there for this newest grandchild, which is perfectly alright. And again, so so happy to see Robert and Matthew once again on the same page. The Christmas/NYE/NY scenes were lovely (loved the surprise for Bel with the horse!) and it was nice how you adapted the canon scenes as appropriate. It was nice to see the Crawley family at home and at the Abbey. Of course things are different and it was nice to know that Sybil was being missed as well. Loved how Mary walking with Matthew on the first drive had a new level of playfulness beyond their banter about his shooting skills (or lack thereof). It made no sense to me that he would feel completely inept with a gun after being a soldier for years, so it was nice that to hear him say he was deliberately trying not to be because of having had too much of guns. And then of course her comments on skills he *did* have ... why could we not have seen this on screen?

And then we come to one of my favorite scenes in this, Robert and Mary. That was my second favorite scene in the CS (one guess as to which one takes number 1) and I was very curious to see how this would be handled. Not only did you not disappoint, you excelled beyond what was on screen! I loved how they were able to talk rather frankly about what had happened and granted it was several months in the making, it was so good to see Robert apologize. He was angry and he was right to be, but his reaction was wrong, especially with regards to what happened with Sybil. It was clear he had realized it at Cora's funeral, but it was nice, and necessary, for him to verbalize it to Mary. I loved how she was the one to tell Robert (and what a perfect moment she chose) about the letter to Sybil. Now that Cora was gone, of course it would be Mary that Sybil would reach out to. And the conversation that followed ... Hugh would have found himself in line for another batch of awards and Michelle would follow suit. It was good that she encouraged him to reach out to Sybil and reminded him that their child would be as much as part of him as her children were. It's a bitter pill to swallow but someone needed to serve it and since Cora can't, Mary is the next best choice. I loved how Robert couldn't help but acknowledged he would love the child and then the apology that followed had me as much in tears as it did Mary. I had completely forgotten about that Duke in S1 and the circumstances surrounding his departure, but I loved how you worked that back in. How Robert wanted a good, brave man for Mary and that pissant wasn't it, but Matthew was, on all counts, and how he was so happy she married him, irregardless of circumstances and uttered the words we'd been waiting to hear since chapter 26 when it all went to hell, that he was sorry "[he] ever made [Mary] think otherwise."

The Servants Ball was lovely and I liked how the traditions were dispensed with a bit. It was lovely for Matthew to see just how close Mary and Isobel had grown (no surprise for us because the love has been there for some time now), but especially poignant given that now Isobel is the closest thing Mary has to a mother, in the same Robert is to Matthew. It was so sad not to see Cora there, but it was nice to see that Mary has not completely lost a mother's guiding hand. And then of course, the snow! Of course, there are no overhanging issues for them to resolve here, so it was lovely to see them merely enjoy each other. And then the scene out in the snow! It was great how Mary couldn't wait to see Bel dance with Carson. I loved the scene here just as much as I did on screen. Best part was Matthew coming up to her and just taking her in his arms straightaway, because he could. And then if that wasn't enough, offering his jacket, holdings her close, and then see him just take it all in, look back on all that happened and ponder what was to come, and see how his happiness was wrapped up in her, resulting in that wonderful reworking of the proposal. And then the twirling ... we had to have the twirling!

There are simply no words for how much I have enjoyed this story and am so sad to know it's almost over. But I guess one of the benefits of only discovering your stories and all the others here within the last couple of weeks is that there is more more me to read and catch up on. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful talents and I look forward to seeing what comes ahead. Please forgive the rambling!
3/6/2012 c29 2LoverandaFighter
I love this story so much. You were amazing. I've told all my friends who watch Downton to read your fanfics. Keep up the good work. I look forward to much much more
3/6/2012 c29 16Tripp3235
What a wonderful chapter. Oh what Christmas present! isn't it fun to write happy, fluffy mary and Matthew! Oh and how they wake up together! That was hot.

And thank you for the Robert apology. It was needed and so well done. And I loved how you wove the Duke in to the brave man speech!

And three beautiful children! Oh how I wish S2 would have been like this!
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