Higgins falls asleep with a smile on his face for the first time in years. His, for once, pleasant dreams are all about Eliza and how happy she's made him. Eliza has a terrible time trying to fall asleep. The events of the night have surprised her immensely.
Eliza climbs slowly out of bed in the morning, but quickly pulls her feet back as they hit the icy floor. She pulls her slippers closer to the bed and slips her feet into them. She goes to her wardrobe and pulls out a dress for the day. She also looks for a dress to wear to Henry's mother's party that night. Eliza quickly slips her nightgown off and slips her day dress on trying not to get too chilly. Eliza doesn't want help from any of Henry's servants to get dressed or do her hair this morning. She sweeps her hair up and off her face, into a French twist. She slips a pair of shoes on and goes to the door. She opens the door and steps out. She looks towards Henry's room and smiles. She still has moments when she thinks she imagined the whole thing, but she knows that isn't so. She knows that Colonel Pickering is probably already up and so she travels quickly down the stairs to the sitting room. Colonel Pickering is enjoying a hot cup of tea. "Good morning, Colonel." Eliza says cordially as she pours herself a cup of tea as well.
"Good morning, Eliza. Did everything go alright last night after Mrs Pearce and I left?" Colonel Pickering asks as his sips his tea.
"Yes, everything went fine as you well know because Henry came and talked to you last night. He was very sweet and attentive. I never thought we could be this way." Eliza says as she sets her tea cup down.
"You're quite right; I did know exactly what happened last night. I just have one question: how are you going to prevent Mrs. Higgins from finding out exactly what happened last night? Higgins is so changed that his mother is sure to pick up on it." Colonel Pickering asks quietly. It's a serious question.
"He'll just have to be careful. We certainly can't mention last night to her or next thing we know she'll be planning our wedding." Eliza says as she sips her tea.
"You're quite right, Eliza, we can't mention last night in front of mother or she'll have us getting married before the year is out." Higgins says as he enters the room and pours himself a cup of tea.
"Is that such a repulsive thought, Henry? I wouldn't have thought after last night that getting married wouldn't be on the agenda." Eliza says teasing Henry. She knows he'll marry her eventually.
"That's true, Eliza, and you're quite right, I wouldn't mind marrying you, but I want it to be on our terms, not my mother's. Do you understand?" Henry asks as he sits next to Eliza. Colonel Pickering feels awkward sitting there listening to them. This should be a personal conversation between the two of them. "Pickering, we're not making you feel uncomfortable, are we?"
"Just slightly, but I asked first so I suppose I deserve it. I had to go and ask something which is not actually my business. This is something for the two of you to work out. I'm glad the two of you are happy though." Colonel Pickering says chuckling.
"Now you've both made me nervous about tonight. I don't want to say something wrong and give everything away. Your mother can be very persuasive, Henry." Eliza whines.
"You're right. She is very persuasive. You just have to make sure that you don't end up alone with her and that your behaviour doesn't give us away. Make all your expressions towards me as neutral and normal as possible." Henry concedes this is not going to be easy.
"I'd be more concerned about your behaviour, Higgins. You're like a completely different person this morning. Mothers always know when something has changed. Maybe you should just bite the bullet and tell her." Pickering suggests.
"I'm not telling her today. We'll just have to wait. Just don't let her drag the information out of you, Pickering. I know there's something between my mother and you, but don't let her use her feminine wiles to persuade you to tell her anything." Higgins says firmly. Pickering has been trying to hide his relationship with Higgins' mother from Higgins for ages, but it didn't work very well.
"Higgins that is a very heavy accusation you're laying at my feet. I would never deny certain things, but your friendship is important. I would never betray it, even to a woman as lovely as your mother." Pickering promises. "I'm also not sure what you're talking about. There's nothing going on between your mother and I"
"You don't have to deny it, Pickering. This is all making my head ache. I don't want to talk about this anymore. It's too much thinking this early, especially with all the drinking I did last night." Higgins grumbles.
"Oh Henry, I wondered how much sleep you'd actually gotten last night when you came in. Are you all right? You should know by now that you can't drink that much at once." Eliza asks gently as she kisses his cheek.
"I'm fine, although I could do without this headache. I'll be miserable at mother's party if I'm still feeling like this." Henry admits.
"Mrs Pearce, can you bring him some headache tablets please. He'll be an absolute bear at his mother's party if we don't get this headache to go away."
"Miss Eliza, it's only a suggestion, but if you don't want his mother to know about your relationship maybe you should leave him with his headache. He'll be more like his old self that way."
Higgins groans. He already knows it's a sound plan. "Mrs Pearce, you are a genius! That's a perfect idea! You're quite right! If he's in pain he's much more likely to be more similar to his old self. He'll be much more anti-social and curmudgeonly." Pickering contemplates the idea carefully.
"Thank you, sir."
"I'm sorry, Henry. If you don't want us to be discovered you'll just have to suffer with this headache for today. It's a brave sacrifice to make."