*cracks knuckles* OK, I am home and prepared to talk Downton OT3, now. And I’m going to publish it, if that’s OK, because I’d like to keep it and please forgive the incoherence. -.-;;;
It’s Mary x Tom x Henry. And I have SUCH complex feelings about the three of them. So, first off, I’m pretty convinced that Tom is somewhere on the ace spectrum–possibly demisexual, given Sybil. And Mary… I’m not entirely sure? If I had to pin her down, I’d say gray-a or demi, as well. And you know that the two of them are the queerplatonic soulmates of my Downton heart, yes? ^_^
Anyway, I honestly haven’t been sure what to make of Henry for most of the season. He’s charming af, yes, but his relationship with Mary seemed to come out of nowhere. Like everyone’s going “Mary, you’re an idiot, he’s perfect for you!” and I’m like… “Eh? Where the fuck are you getting that from?” Because apart from the fact that they argued from minute one (a sure sign of Mary in love/lust), I just wasn’t seeing it.
Now, TOM and Henry… that I saw. I saw it in SPADES. Because Tom is like, “ZOMG, YOU LIKE CARS?? I LIKE CARS. WE SHOULD TALK CARS.” And then Henry turns around and goes, “ZOMG, WE SHOULD DO THIS THING, YES, OMG, I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED SOMEONE TO TALK CARS WITH.” And literally every time Tom tried to hook the two of them up, one or both of them would turn around with, “ZOMG, TOM, YOU SHOULD COME, TOO.”
And what clinched it for me was in ep 8 when Henry comes back and Tom bows out of the conversation with that “Thanks, but I’ve been involved in this courtship long enough” line. And BOTH MARY AND HENRY SEEM SAD THAT HE’S LEAVING EVEN THOUGH THEY CLEARLY HAVE PRIVATE THINGS TO SAY TO EACH OTHER, AND REALLY WHAT EVEN IS THAT???
So, I guess my point is that Tom and Mary understand each other SO WELL and have for at least two seasons. Tom and Henry also understand each other really well. And Mary and Henry may be in lust with each other and appreciate the intellectual challenge provided by the other, but they work best with Tom in the middle. I mean… he’s Mary’s work partner on the estate and Henry’s work partner in the car shop and he really seems at his happiest when he has a foot in both of those worlds.
And I’m honestly not sure I want him LITERALLY in the middle, because, like I said, pretty sure he’s demi, at best, but he is DEFINITELY an emotionally significant part of that relationship, no matter how you slice it, and I’d love to read fic acknowledging that and exploring how it plays out.