Disclaimer: Dude, do you think anybody is going to believe that Darren and Daniel are 19th century members of the Haute Tonne? I do not think so. If you do, then there is medication you can take to correct that.
Summary: Doyle has warned Darren to stay away in the interest of protecting Darren, but all it's accomplishing is hurting the both of them.
Pairing: Darren and Daniel
Genre: so AU it's mind-boggling
Authors Note: I was listening to Pulp as I wrote the ahem "happy" scene and that is probably why it is the best I have ever written.
Daniel hadn’t seen Darren outside of lessons in two weeks and that might not seem that odd considering that Daniel spent a lot of time with his activities and Darren worked very hard on his lessons. However, he wasn’t even passing Darren in the halls, or seeing him at the dinner table, or spending time with the boys when he was around. Daniel was really starting to wonder what was going on. He was even going so far as to think Darren was dashing out of the room whenever he threatened to be near.
For the first day and half he’d almost thought it a blessing. Here Darren seemed to be offering him a way out of all that had happened between him, and then he’d think of something he wanted to say to the boy, or he’d recall some incident they’d shared and remember Darren wasn’t anywhere near to reminisce with him. Nor was he around to help with his very bad poetry. It was absolutely intolerable. A fact Daniel found very frightening. He’d always felt he’d gotten on very well, that he’d been a cheerful happy person, but now that he hadn’t spent time with the Darren in two weeks and he felt like a hole had opened inside him. And had he upset Darren or something? Because it was beginning to get a little ridiculous that they never crossed paths.
He took his confusion and wonderment out on the fencing courts, but instead of focusing his play, it made him an unstable fighter. He was winning still. He beat Marcus Garvey twice more, but at times it seemed to lack all the form and grace he had worked so hard to hone. He didn’t even consider them worthy wins, fencing was about precision not power, but all he saw in his head was Darren turning away from him and then he couldn’t concentrate. Daniel couldn’t believe it. Darren seemed to be sewn into his clothes, written in his books, drawn on his mathematics homework and it was all over a few paltry kisses.
The only time he ever really got blank space in his head was in music, despite the Headmasters insistence that Daniel didn’t have a refined bone in his body, he was an excellent violinist. George joked that Daniel was always brilliant with something large and stick-like in his hands. Daniel had smiled and laughed and continued to nod off in every other lesson. In the times he allowed himself to dream, he wrote music. Usually he tore it up again, but his roommate, Phillip, was forever picking up his scribblings and stacking them in a neat pile with little notes written across it saying ‘you should play this’ and ‘a little more f sharp in this variation.’ It was the only thing they ever connected over.
On the practice courts that day he was miles away. He woke up to the world just in time to see his opponent about to land a blow on his chest that would’ve cost him the match. With a clever flick of the wrist he deflected it, amazed as he whipped his own sword around for the return. He hadn’t fenced like this in ages.
“Ho, Jones!” Christopher Ellison, a fifth former on the team, cried out as Daniel delivered a vicious down-stroke that left his arm vibrating. “Are you trying to break my arm?”
He backed away from Daniel and pulled his mask off. His expression was incredulous. Daniel tossed away his épée1 and tore off his mask.
“I’m sorry.” Daniel scrubbed a hand through his hair and tossed his mask away to join the épée on the floor. “Good God, I’m sorry.”
“You keep doing that and you won’t even land proper hits!” Christopher was carefully feeling along his sore wrist.
“I know, I know.” Daniel sighed, feeling both chagrin and victory over what was definitely a proper hit, Ellison’s opinion or no. “I’ve just got a lot on my mind.”
“Pay him absolutely no mind!” Marchmont De Winter, the person he was planning to leave the fencing team to upon his graduation, called from where he was watching. “Daniel, that was amazing. I haven’t seen you pull off something that beautiful in two weeks.”
Christopher muttered something derisive under his breath that neither boy could help hearing.
Daniel shot Christopher a look at his audacity. No 5th former should address 6th former in such a manner, let alone his fencing captain! Christopher blushed and Daniel sighed. Marchmont was right, he hadn’t done anything good in two weeks. He really needed to talk to Darren.
Darren was just walking out of the Dining hall, when a hand on his collar pulled him into a deserted nook. He nearly tripped over his feet and felt very lucky that his would be abductor was strong enough to support his weight as he fell against him.
“Gracious!” he nearly shouted, before a cool hand clapped over his mouth.
“Sst! I’m trying to talk with you privately!” Daniel replied, pulling his hand off of Darren’s mouth. Darren’s eyes adjusted and he was able to make out his friend’s messy blond hair in the light.
“And why, Daniel, couldn’t you have just come by my rooms?” Darren asked, shoving himself away from Daniel before he did something foolish.
“What’s the fun in that?” Daniel laughed, lounging back against the wall behind him, in a way that Darren was becoming extremely familiar with.
“Be serious, Daniel!” Darren’s voice was cold and he turned around as if he was about to leave.
“I am being serious!” he hissed back, coming up off the wall.
Darren sighed. “Well then, get to the point!”
“You’re avoiding me,” the blond replied matter-of-factly, tugging his collar points back into place yet again.
“I most certainly am not!” Darren’s blue eyes flashed, though Daniel doubtless didn’t see it. “I’m busy, as are you!”
“Oh yes, that’s all it is.” Daniel retorted sarcastically, his arms crossing in front of his chest. “Well let’s say, hypothetically, mind you, that you were avoiding me, what exactly would the inspiration for that be?”
“Because I have better things to do than follow you around!” Darren growled, pushing past Daniel to go back out into the hall. He noticed with a pang of guilt that Daniel remained stunned against the wall. He winced. They should never have let it get this far. Once could be explained, maybe even twice, but certainly not three times.
He raced back to his rooms, hoping that preserving Daniel’s honor was worth what it was already costing them both. Just being in that darkened alcove with him had nearly shot his resolve to hell. He’d wanted very desperately to sift his fingers through Daniel’s hair and tug him down for another long awaited kiss. But they couldn’t. They really really couldn’t.
Darren had done some research on Daniel’s family from the copy of Debrett’s2 in the library. He was a third son and who cared what they did, or so he’d thought. Daniel’s mother was his father’s second wife, and he was her only child. Furthermore, she was the only living descendent of the Whittenstahl estate, which was, unfortunately, entailed3. Daniel would one day inherit a very profitable manor in the east of England, he couldn’t afford to be off gallivanting with Darren.
He needed a son and heir, Darren was not the road to one.
Daniel was left feeling little more than a ridiculous fool in an alcove. He had absolutely no clue what he could have possibly done to upset Darren so, but clearly it was no minor offense. Well, at least it resolved the original question, Darren and Daniel would not, it would seem, be jumping into each other’s arms any time soon.
“ ‘llo mate!” George shouted as he passed him on the way back to his rooms. “Where have you been hidin’?”
“Get stuffed!” Daniel snarled, thundering on his way to the practice courts, forget precision he wouldn’t mind taking out some of his more unpleasant emotions on that fool Garvey.
George stood frozen in the hallway, he hadn’t the slightest idea why Daniel was behaving so strangely. In all the time that he’d known Daniel, he’d never known him to shout.
He’d passed by Darren earlier and he’d also looked a little peaked, but Darren was far more moody than Daniel was on his worst days. He’d paid it little mind, now he was starting to wonder if the two events were connected.
“What are you doing loitering in the hallways?” Malcolm asked George as he stepped out of the library reading room with a bunch of other boys interested in chemistry sets and blowing themselves up (possibly also eating bugs, George liked to speculate of the elitist little science club0.
“I just saw Jones. He looked right fit to murder someone.” George replied, staring down the empty hallway where he’d seen Daniel disappear.
“Daniel? Daniel was in a state?” Malcolm asked, his eyes following George’s.
George let out a snort of disbelief. “He told me to get stuffed just for saying bloody hello!”
“Maybe he’s tired of looking at your ugly face.” Malcolm replied as they started off down the hall.
“Oy! Shut up!”
Darren wanted to punch something when he returned to his rooms after botany. He and Daniel were officially on the outs and by now the other boys had realized it. While George and Malcolm threw him perplexed looks, Doyle’s own was an approving one, and Darren had to admit that his fist was desperately craving to put a dent in that ridiculously patronizing expression.
Daniel and James Tolwyn had been sitting next to each other, laughing like mad, as they twiddled about with their magnifying glass. Darren couldn’t for the life of him see what was so special about the plant they were looking at. Something to make the Master erupt into boils? God knew his own had been little more than a wilting peace of greenery plucked off the school grounds. Furthermore, he very much did not like that hand that Tolwyn perched upon Daniel’s shoulders like they were the closest of friends. As a result he’d been unreasonably surly with amicable George, who’d had the dubious honor of being his partner for the hour. By the end, George’s expression was sour enough to match his own.
“Good Lord, Hayes, pull out the rod shoved up your arse and finish this bloody assignment with me!” George had whispered furiously after he caught Darren viciously slashing his paper with his quill.
Darren had turned away from the horrendous sight of Daniel and Tolwyn for a second trying to focus on his task, only to have his attention pulled away again by Daniel practically falling into Tolwyn’s lap as he laughed uproariously.
He wanted to be the person that Daniel focused all his attention on, not that idiot Tolwyn. Though Tolwyn was probably the least threat to Daniel’s honor, which Darren himself could not claim. No doubt it was for the best, but Darren couldn’t help feeling completely awful, especially as Doyle watched him, assurances on his lips.
“The boys and I were wondering what it is that’s got your knickers in a twist?” Malcolm said from the door, drawing Darren out of his melancholy thoughts as he set his books down on the bed.
“Ask bloody Doyle,” Darren shouted into his pillow.
“What was that?” Malcolm asked, sitting down on his own bed.
Darren sat up, an imprint from his pillow already noticeable on his cheek. “Look, it’s bloody nothing all right. I’m sorry I’m being such a pratt, but I don’t know how else to handle this yet.”
Malcolm sighed like Darren was an extremely stupid child. “You could try speaking to us, Darren. We are your friends.”
“I bloody well know that, Malcolm!” Darren snapped and then sighed, his demeanor visibly softening. “This is something I’ve got to handle on my own, all right?”
“I just—it isn’t fun for any of us to see you like this.” Malcolm looked away, clearly upset at being unable to help Darren at all.
Darren sighed again and sank back into the bed. “I know and I am sorry. Things are just a little difficult right now.”
“All right, Darren.” Malcolm blew out a breath and got to his feet. “Will I be seeing you at dinner?”
“I think so, yes,” Darren replied, turning his head to look at his friend.
“Good, maybe if you get some bread pudding into you, it’ll change your entire outlook.”
Darren laughed. “Maybe.”
They were coming hard upon Christmas. Not much time at all was left in the term. Daniel had thrown himself into fencing and music, mostly because it was the only way he could seem to ignore Darren who didn’t want anything to do with him. It was working, those first few weeks of erratic inelegant playing had been replaced by almost seamless sword and footwork. Master Dereham was complimenting him daily and asking him what it was that had pushed him to work so hard. Daniel just shrugged and continued to do his best.
He’d presented Phillip with a little score he’d been working on for sometime and they’d had their first real conversation in three years they’d been rooming together, a feat indeed. His lessons were still suffering, especially English where Darren wasn’t helping him anymore. He was also spending less and less time with the boys, because more often than not, Darren was with them.
Then he pretty much stopped seeing Darren altogether outside of lessons. He didn’t even seem to be at the meals. When he asked Doyle about it, his friend had shrugged and told him Darren was completely fine and god only knew where he’d got himself off to now.
“What have you got planned for the winter holiday, Daniel?” Doyle asked him one day after lessons on the way back to their rooms.
“I believe we’re going back to the family manor for a few days, but we’ll be in London so that we can be around for part of the season’s4 festivities.” Daniel answered and he adjusted the strap on his book bag. “Oliver will be back from Newcastle of course, so I’ll have to deal with him being a complete git for the entire time.”
“It can’t be that bad.”
Daniel’s sarcasm was thick enough to be spread on toast. “Right, ‘course not. Anyway, what are you doing?”
“Dunno yet. We’ll be in town, so you’ll have to come visit, George and Malcolm are coming to stay for a time, but Darren’s begged off.”
“Oh really?” Daniel replied icily, his face hardening.
Doyle continued, unaware of the change in Daniel’s countenance, “Mmm, has to spend time with his family, y’know. It’s his first Christmas on the Island.”
“Doyle?” Daniel asked suddenly. “I can’t figure Darren out. Here I thought he was a perfectly acceptable fellow. I quite liked him, and then he goes completely nutters!”
Doyle made a strange sound in the back of his throat. “Well . . .”
Daniel turned sharply to look at his friend. “Well what, Doyle?”
“Nothing, it’s just—”
Daniel grabbed his friends shoulder. “Doyle! What do you bloody know?”
“Doyle!” Daniel interrupted him, his grip tightening.
“I just—I just told him to stay away from you, is all.” Daniel’s fingers tightened on his shoulders. “You couldn’t do the smart thing and stay away from him. So I told him what your circumstances are like and—”
“My circumstances, Doyle?” Daniel’s voice was harsh. “You had absolutely no right.”
“I was just looking out for you!” Doyle protested.
Daniel let go of his friend, his hand dropping to his side. “Where is he now?”
“I—what?” Doyle stopped mid-apology. “I have no idea.”
“I can’t bloody believe you, Doyle!” Daniel shook his head at his friend and then turned around and ran off towards Darren’s rooms.
“Well, that went well.” Doyle said as he leaned back against the corridor wall. He hoped he hadn’t irrevocably ruined things with Daniel now.
“Darren, Darren! Open the door! I bloody need to talk to you!” Malcolm swung the door inward and narrowly avoided Daniel tripping into him.
“He’s not here!” Malcolm replied tersely, his glasses low on his nose. He’d clearly been very engrossed in studying, he held a tome opened to very intricately painted butterflies and moths in one hand.
“Where is he, then?” Daniel demanded.
“I don’t know?” Malcolm pushed his glasses up. “Working on the Christmas play, most like.”
“Thank you!” Daniel clapped Malcolm on the back and then sprinted back down the hallway. He could hear Malcolm muttering about rude friends who interrupted very important sessions with books behind him.
He raced off to the auditorium where the drama society always practiced for their performances. It was little more than a glorified raised platform in the dusty old hall that had been a chapel before the reformation5.
He threw the doors wide and practically skidded through them, only to be shushed by a young man in parti-colored6 hose, with a cod-piece stuck on crookedly. Daniel tried his hardest not to stare and was just about to ask where Darren was when he was blind-sided by the people on stage.
Darren was in a dress and full make-up and leaning in to kiss the thin youth across from him, who Daniel could only assume was the Duke Orsino. After all weren’t they doing Twelfth Night this year? Bloody Shakespeare, he thought viciously, as he watched Darren and Beanpole share a very awkward peck on the lips.
“What’re you doing here, Jones?” a voice whispered loudly off to the left.
“Hmm?” he turned and his mouth dropped. The head of the drama society, Alistair Rushes, was standing in voluminous lace confection, a black wig askew upon his head, and his face powdered to look dangerously pale. “Good lord!”
“Don’t start!” Alistair hissed back. “We got a new boy working props, said he had just the idea for Olivia’s costume, and look! I’m hideous.”
“Well, I—” Daniel started, keeping half an eye on Darren as he recited his lines beautifully. “I don’t think you’re hideous, just a little sickly-looking.”
“What?” Alistair started, his face going even paler under his make-up. “I haven’t even had a chance to look in a mirror! I was talking about this bloody ridiculous dress! When I find that boy he’ll get a good whipping! That’s for sure.”
“I—look I really need to speak to Hayes, how long is he going to be up there?” Daniel nodded at the stage.
“Well it’s exeunt in five seconds, so I figure not long at all.” Alistair replied distractedly, trying to right his wig.
“Thanks, can I go back stage?” Daniel asked, already walking off in that direction.
Alistair tugged on an errant curl and then sighed in resignation. “‘Course! Though you’ll have to be careful, there’s a load of junk back there and the lighting is poor.”
“I’ll manage, thanks.” Daniel whispered back over his shoulder, ducking behind the heavy curtains the society had rigged up. Alistair wasn’t kidding when he said there was a load of junk behind the stage, and Daniel nearly tripped over an old-fashioned wooden birdcage lying carelessly on the floor. He kicked it aside with an irritated grunt and then tried to navigate his way past piles of books, large wooden chests spilling out costumes, and an array of props to astound and astonish even the most experienced materialist.
Daniel cursed as the fine fabric of his shirt caught on the door of a chipped armoire with the door half-hanging off. He was seriously considering giving up and trying to talk to Darren later, when he saw his friend standing in front of a large full length mirror, buttoning the shirt to his uniform back up.
There were dark lines of coal around Darren’s brilliant blue eyes and his lips were still red with rouge. Daniel wasn’t exactly sure why the sight chased a line of heat down his back, but he accepted it, as he was beginning to accept all things he felt in regards to Darren.
“What do you want?” Darren snarked, his clever fingers finally shoving the last button through its hole.
“You and I need to have a little heart to heart,” Daniel replied, his voice neutral.
Darren turned around and sighed. Daniel realized that he’d never seen Darren so undressed, he looked delightfully disheveled without his weskit or neckerchief.
Darren pushed a hand through his short hair, making the ends stick up. “There’s nothing to say, Daniel.”
“Yes there is,” Daniel wouldn’t let it go. “Doyle told me what he said to you.”
Whatever Darren had been expecting him to say, it hadn’t been that. “I—what?”
“I don’t want you to stay away, Darren. I can take care of myself.”
“Look, Daniel, some things are more important than getting your jollies off!” Darren blushed as he realized what he had said exactly. Daniel cleared his throat and bit his lip to hide a smile. “You’re going to inherit one day. Christ only knows what’ll happen to you if they find out about me!”
Daniel tripped over another box of books as he attempted to get closer to his friend and it surprised a laugh out of Darren. “You’re right. Of course you’re right,” Daniel answered as he straightened. They were standing less than a meter apart now.
Darren sighed and scrubbed his face with his hand. “I know, that’s—” he never got to finish his statement; Daniel had pulled him sharply against his body before dipping in for a kiss. Darren froze against him, his mouth a closed line against Daniel’s, but then the palms he’d braced against Daniel’s chest slid upwards to dig into Daniel’s shoulders.
Daniel walked them backwards, their mouths still locked, and they fell heavily on the pile of rush mattresses next to the mirror.
Darren arched into Daniel’s body as it pressed into him, he widened his thighs around the blond’s hips, tearing his mouth away when their already hardened cocks came into contact.
“Good Lord,” Darren burst out.
Daniel laughed, his long fingers skimming over Darren’s cheek-bone. “Actually, my name is Daniel.”
“So bloody ridiculous sometimes!” Darren said in reference to Daniel, as he tugged him back down by his neckerchief.
Daniel laughed and allowed himself to be pulled. “I do try.” He bent his head and sucked on Darren’s full lower lip, worrying it with his teeth and swiping at it with his tongue. Darren was making small unsatisfied noises and trying to push his hips even more insistently against Daniel’s.
Daniel broke away to take in a deep gasp of the dusty backstage air. He skimmed his lips across the side of Darren’s face and over his closed eyelids, allowing his body to melt into Darren’s own. Darren couldn’t get enough friction, he reached a hand between them to grasp Daniel’s cloth-covered erection. Daniel’s teeth closed hard on the place where his neck met his shoulder and he couldn’t stave off the loud moan that broke past his lips. Daniel laughed breathlessly and shushed him before sealing their mouths together again. He plunged his tongue in deep, reminding Darren of how good this was, how much they’d missed in the last weeks, how he never seemed to stop wanting this steady building pressure between them.
As Daniel worked diligently to undo all the buttons he’d just done up on his shirt, Darren was unfastening Daniel’s trousers, somehow drawing the courage from a place he didn’t know he had. Daniel finally got the cloth off his chest and tongued a slow line down his sternum. Darren could hear his own harsh breathing but didn’t know what to do about it, their hips were still working hard against each other, and everything seemed to get more frantic by the second.
Daniel had to clamp a hand over his mouth when he reached Darren’s right nipple, Darren was that loud. Darren was slightly embarrassed, but it felt so good, like a string connected that spot to his groin, and the sight of Daniel’s tongue laving his skin was only further arousing.
Furiously working his own trousers open, he sunk his fingers into Daniel’s messy hair and brought him back up to sink his teeth in Daniel’s lower lip. Daniel’s hips jerked against his and their bare cocks came into contact, and there was nothing other than them in this space feverishly trying to climax. If someone walked in on them now, Daniel doubted he’d be able to stop, Darren seemed to be consuming his entire thought process bit by bit.
He thrust against the dark-haired boy, breaking off to gasp at the heat and the smooth slide of pleasure that washed over him. Darren was making frenzied mmming noises into his mouth that only heightened his urgency. He flicked a thumb over Darren’s left nipple and watched in satisfaction as Darren tore his mouth away to moan and arch away from the mattress.
Darren writhed underneath him, overwrought with sensation, before sliding his hand between their bodies again and wrapping a tight fist around their cocks.
Daniel’s stiffened against him, his voice ragged and gritty. “Oh God this is—”
“I—ah—know…” Darren whispered back as he worked them. He couldn’t believe this was happening. Just yesterday he’d felt lost whenever he heard Daniel laugh with someone else, saw him smile at someone else, or listened to him mouth off at the teacher. Now there was only pleasure, the taste of Daniel in his mouth, and the touch of his burning skin and deft fingertips.
He was drifting. Lost in it. Daniel smelled like clean linen and sandalwood. It felt like all of his senses were getting drenched with stimili. With every frenzied rock of their hips together he felt like his skin was losing its power to hold him in.
He was gripping Daniel’s hand tightly in his own and he kept his gaze trained on it through narrowed eyes. He didn’t stop looking at it, them bound together in this moment, even when Daniel rolled his hips, the head of his cock hitting his balls just right, and stars burst in front of his eyes. He was gasping Daniel’s name like it was his personal mantra, like it was the most important line of a play he was desperately memorizing as he came in bursts against Daniel.
Daniel’s hand clenched in his grip and then he too came, his lithe body trembling above his own as Darren whispered nonsense in his ear, talking him through it. Daniel looked down at him, his breathing slowing and the flush of his skin returning to its normal golden tan. He ran a long fingered hand through Darren’s sweat-soaked hair and let out what sounded like a sigh of satisfaction. All the dark-haired boy could see was the green of Darren’s eyes.
Daniel turned over, pulling Darren with him so that he was resting on Daniel’s chest.
“So, Hayes, what are you doing for the holidays?”
Darren snorted, amused at the fact that Daniel could shift subjects so easily. He could hear the study beat of Daniel’s heart under his ear. “Nothing I think.”
Daniel absently nuzzled his hair. “Want to come back to North Umberland with me?”
“I bet you’ve never seen Hadrian’s wall!” Daniel cajoled teasingly.
“As if that’s what I’d be interested in, in Northumberland!”
Daniel laughed. “Yes, there are lots of handsome young shepherds too.”
“Daniel!” Darren smacked his arm and shook his head, muttering something about bloody ridiculous blond boys.
“Come.” Daniel implored, his voice soft with all that was left unspoken.
Darren propped his weight up on his elbows so that he could look down at his friend. “Of course.” He smoothed a hand down Daniel’s arm and smiled slowly at him.
Daniel closed his eyes and sighed. “Good, I was afraid I was going to have to send you flowers or something, and that would really be too much work.”
1 There are three different types of swords in fencing. If you fight with a foil, as Daniel did against Garvey, you can hit the torso and groin region. Both swords are constructed similarly although a rapier épée is longer and heavier and less flexible. The main difference between using the two swords is that with an épée you can hit anywhere on the body.
Daniel would be versed in both, especially as foil fencing was training for court dueling (which was illegal but that never seemed to have stopped anybody), however fencing with an épée is harder and more competitive and supposedly more elegant. Daniel might also know how to fight with a sabre, but only if the fencing master at Leeds was influenced by the Italian school
2Debrett’s, short for Debrett’s Peerage was a book first published in 1769 to include all the nobility of Great Britain. Daniel’s family would be included on both sides considering both his mother and father were peers of the realm.
3 An entailed estate is a clause in an estate’s custom that prevents any women from inheriting the title and lands that go a long with a families holdings. Unfortunately entailments have probably done more damage than good, as they allow distant male relatives to displace living female relatives and thus bring an end to long dynastic chains. A very famous example is Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Bennet has no immediate male heirs, so Mr. Collins must take the house. Technically Daniel’s mother could not pass her father’s title on to her son unless there was some very clever fudgery going on, however, for this story to work I need that fudgery, so bear with me.
4 By season I do not mean Christmas festivities but the court season. During the Elizabethan age, in which the gentry and the middle class went through huge expansion, a court season was established. During the winter the gentry would flock to London to take part in the activities there and during the rest of the year they would be back in their country homes overseeing their lands and enjoying the summer months outside. Obviously one could go to London at any time and expect any number of their peers there, however all of the best events were held during the winter season and then anybody who was anybody could be expected to be there.
5 Under Edward VII the Catholic churches were pillaged and burned, their goods carted off, and their priests put on a ship bound for Rome. Under Mary a lot of this would’ve been restored, but some architecture was irrevocably damaged and thus it was never used again
6 Not party-colored as in “Oooh brilliant paper plates” but parti short for partition. A man might wear one leg in red and the other in orange, thus his legs were partitioned off. I have no idea why you couldn’t say multi-colored, I didn’t come up with that weirdo piece of trivia either.
Soundtrack for this chapter:
The Stone Roses – I Wanna Be Adored
Imogen Heap – Have you got it in you?
Pulp – Pencil Skirt
Hideaway – Erasure
Forever – Turin Brakes