Characters: Jan, mentions of Matthew, Shirley, Howard, Rosalie, Gilbert, Dotty, Danny, Nick, and Alice
Summary: Jan is still Jan, and disapproves of almost all the things.
Notes: AU, I guess since I don’t deal with my characters once they’re dead. The view of Jan Danaher Bradford do not, in any way, reflect the view of the author. Some spoilers for minor characters, but it shouldn’t ruin anything for the overall plot arc.
Word Count: 988
Jan sipped her tea in silence, alone. Matthew was out, again, trying to convince their ungrateful son to see him. Jan knew it was a fool’s mission; Jefferson had never understood what they had tried to do for him, and the boy would never see it. Even in the afterlife, he would continue to shun his parents, insisting that they were horrible, horrible people. Jan sniffed in disgust. Matthew would come back in a horrible mood, and she’d be forced to suffer through it. Why the man was so stubborn, she’d never know, but she supposed it made sense that he couldn’t handle the fact that his only son hated him. If there was one thing that Matthew wouldn’t accept, it was that his son thought he’d done wrong by the family.
She turned her attention to the wall, where there were pictures of her descendants hanging on the wall. James and Cindy, Thaddeus and Calla, Viola and Sterling, and single frames for each of their children. She eyed them warily. Things would certainly have turned out differently if she was still around.
Viola’s daughter wouldn’t have been such a crass tomboy, for starters. Of course, that probably couldn’t be helped, as Shirley was the also the granddaughter of a crazy woman. Viola should never have married into that branch of the Alcott family, she thought. Not that the other branch had turned out much better. At least she’d managed to produce a decent boy in Howard. He was a little brash, but that would serve him well in certain ways, she reluctantly admitted. Of course, Jan would have corrected his slovenly ways; the boy didn’t know the first thing about keeping his hair tidy or making sure his shirttails stayed tucked in. Yes, Howard was alright, but Shirley was a lost cause. At least she had the good sense to catch the Gavigan boy; even though his family wasn’t as powerful as they had been in days of yore, their name still garnered a great amount of respect.
Her eyes fell to the portrait of Rosalie, and Jan couldn’t help but smile. How such a fine and proper young lady had come from such parents, she would never know, but she thanked the powers that be for it every single day. Rosalie went out of her way to make sure that her actions were respectable, proper, and she knew the rules and followed them. Jan approved wholeheartedly of Rosalie’s decision to become Mrs. Bruce Thorne; the Thornes were an old family that Jan would have loved to connected one of her children to back in the day. She would certainly keep an eye on that with interest.
Her smile turned to a frown as she looked at Gilbert’s picture with disgust. That boy, she thought, her lip curling into a sneer, was so dangerously close to ruining everything for his family, and he didn’t know or seem to care. He should take a page from his sister’s book and find a respectable girl to marry, and forget this nonsense involving Clarence Alcott. It was unnatural what the two of them were doing. If anyone found out…Jan shuddered at the thought. Hopefully, Rosalie would be able to talk some sense into the boy, and soon.
Jan’s attention shifted to the pictures of James’ children. Dorothy, their daughter, was so like her father it was scary. Fast tempered, too quick to show emotion, and no solid plan for her future. Jan shook her head. Hopefully, she’d find someone to settle down with soon. What Dorothy needed was a man to steady her.
Her twin, Daniel, was a different creature entirely. He was calm and steady, and rarely let emotions show. While his older brother was planning on jumping into the impending war without figuring out the details, Daniel was already make quiet inquiries about what he needed to do to become a military officer. Jan was prouder of him than she cared to admit. Her great-great grandson, an officer! He would look so dashing in his uniform that he’d have his pick of the finest ladies. Daniel would go far, she though, if he continued on the path he’d marked out.
Lastly, she looked at the picture of the boy who would inherit everything her husband had worked so hard to protect. Nicholas was a fine boy to a point, but he did have his faults. He was too kind for his own good, and far, far too serious. He took everything he was told literally, which often got him into trouble. And he was far too trusting. People would take advantage of that, she feared. The head of a family needed to be shrewd. Nicholas didn’t have a shrewd bone in his body.
She’d read the announcement of his engagement to Alice Kalson with trepidation. The girl was poorer than dirt, a fact that made Jan’s stomach turn. But there was something about the girl that made it impossible for Jan to disapprove entirely. Jan couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but she thought it had something to do with how Alice was able to push Nicholas into thinking about his actions. With her around, her great-great grandson no longer jumped to action before getting all the facts. Jan would never admit it to anyone, but she thoroughly approved of the match.
She heard the door open; Matthew was home. She quickly made her way to the sitting room, and readied herself to hear her husband’s latest complaints. Her last thoughts were of Nicholas and Alice. She wondered if Alice would be able to give the family a son to carry on the Bradford name, if the unthinkable happened and both boys were lost during the war. She fervently hoped so; it would never do if the Bradford name came to an end, after all that she and Matthew had done to keep it alive and respectable.